The Lightning Letter

The Student News Site of James Lawson High School


The Lightning Letter

The Lightning Letter

The Meaning of Black History Month


Black History Month is an annual observance held in the month of February to celebrate and recognize the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout history. The new James Lawson High School is named for Civil Rights leader, Reverend James Lawson.

 “Black History Month means that the world pauses to learn about Black excellence. Although some people have restricted BLH to only learn about slavery and other Black trauma and also Black History Month should encompass the trials and tribulations and also the ups and the downs and the highs and the lows and it should also encompass all things Black excellence,” Lawson English teacher Alexis Brooks said.

It is a time dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of African American individuals, as well as acknowledging their significant impact on various fields such as science, literature, art, politics, and civil rights. 

“One way we celebrated Black History Month at James Lawson is by having a soul food day on February 14th, and also having a time where teachers explain the meanings of Black History Month,” Brooks said.

The purpose of Black History Month is to raise awareness about the often overlooked or underrepresented history and contributions of African Americans. 

“Rosa Parks, for example, I feel like she was a powerful woman for speaking and standing up for Black people during the movements,” Brooks said.

Black History Month aims to foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the rich cultural heritage and experiences of African Americans. We recognize figures like Rosa Parks, who played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement by refusing to give up her seat on a bus, sparking a wave of protests and inspiring change. We also acknowledge the contributions of individuals like Martin Luther King Jr., who advocated for equality and justice through his iconic speeches and peaceful protests.

“‘I Have a Dream’ was a very powerful speech in helping people realize the issues and Dr. Martin Luther King. He helped people understand what was happening,” sophomore Monica Felser said.

Martin Luther King Jr. He was a prominent leader and advocate for civil rights. He is best known for his role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. King emphasized nonviolent protest as a means to achieve equality and justice for African Americans. Parks is often referred to as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” She refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, which sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her act of defiance became a symbol of resistance and inspired further activism.

“I have a class that also introduces my students to other Black cultures, including Black literature and Black music and Black arts and Black authors,” Brooks said.

James M. Lawson Jr. Lawson was a key figure in the civil rights movement, particularly in the area of nonviolent resistance. He played a crucial role in organizing sit-ins and other nonviolent protests, training activists in the principles of nonviolence. Lawson’s teachings and activism greatly influenced the movement and continue to inspire social change.

“I think James Lawson is named after James M. Lawson Jr is a good idea because a lot of our staff and our students don’t know this man or any thing that he has done during movements and I do think moving forward we all should learn more about him,” Brooks said.

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