Teacher recognizes importance of Black History Month

Social+studies+teacher+Darrien+Grays+speaks+with+his+class+about+the+importance+of+Black+History+Month.

Social studies teacher Darrien Grays speaks with his class about the importance of Black History Month.

Grace Green

Black History Month has been celebrated every February for many years. It celebrates black culture, excellence and achievement. NC is a diverse school with a multitude of students and teachers who celebrate this month. Some schools make an effort to acknowledge and even celebrate the month to show their support for black students. The importance of the month can be interpreted in different ways depending on the person.

“It’s made to acknowledge black and minority voices and it should be something we celebrate all year round. Anything that highlights it and celebrates it is good in my opinion,” said social studies teacher Darrien Grays.

It is argued whether public schools, or really any schools, should do things to celebrate and honor Black History Month. The Washington Township Equity and Inclusion leadership team has made an effort to recognize Black History Month via social media and by hosting webinars with the main topic being “Black History is American History.” Although the township has shown support this month, NC itself has not done anything for students to celebrate it. 

“It feels like it’s surplus because there is nothing that’s a school-wide celebration of it. If they really want it to be this important thing, we should take responsibility and make it a thing,” said Grays.

Teachers have somewhat of a choice of what exactly they teach and how they teach it. They could potentially incorporate black history into their lesson plans in the month of February if they wanted to. It may not be as easy to relate black history to science and math courses, but for English and social studies courses it is often already part of the curriculum.

“I don’t do anything specifically for the month of February in class because I talk about those things throughout the year. We’re always talking about what Black-Americans are doing because the Black-American story is essential to understand the American story,” said Grays.

With such a diverse student body, there is much less diversity within teachers at NC. This is especially evident in the social studies department in which Grays is a part of.

“Out of a department of almost 20 teachers there is only one person who identifies as black and that in and of itself highlights the issue. I have no one to talk to about it or to confide in about wanting to acknowledge black excellence more,” said Grays.