Faculty and students honor Black History Month


A homeroom announcement slide commemorating Black History Month that was created by an AP English Language and Composition student.

Ava Swanson, Editor

February is recognized as Black History Month, a time that draws attention to the understanding and commemoration of Black cultures, achievements and histories. The theme for this year, chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, is Black Resistance, which emphasizes the progress and success Black people have achieved in the face of persisting racism and marginalization.  

“There should be no confusion nor questions about the fact that humans are not defined by the color of their skin,” early graduate Kimberly Johnson said. “However, the reality we live in today’s world is different.”

To address this reality, faculty members and administrators across Johnson have taken action to bring attention to the importance of Black History. One such faculty member, AP English teacher Rebecca Treadway, encouraged her students to do their own research and share their knowledge with others by making Black History slides to be displayed in the homeroom slides each morning. 

“I just want to honor everybody and let everybody have an opportunity to share some of their own culture or even learn more about their own culture,” Treadway said. “I don’t think that an event like Black History Month should exist only for the Black students. It’s got to involve all of us, and we’ve got to honor and appreciate those who have come before us.” 

Chef Catherine Lively is also celebrating the month by having her culinary classes plan and execute a dish to honor and represent Black History Month. 

“It’s important to celebrate cultures that people ignore or maybe are uninformed about,” culinary student Andrea Camarillo said. “I think our dish will help us recognize this importance and celebrate the significance of Black History Month.” 

Despite these actions by the faculty, Johnson still has room for improvement and necessary changes in order to make the school more inclusive for its minority students. 

“This issue really does need to be addressed and regulated in school with the help of the teachers and administrators,” Kimberly said. “So many days, I remember my friend and I having to remain quiet while others kept throwing slurs in class. We should be better than this.” 

To become better, Johnson needs to continue to create the kind of environment where students and faculty alike can recognize and bring attention to these things year-round. With the continued attitudes of teachers such as Treadway and Lively, Black students will be able to feel truly comfortable in their own skin while at school. 

“Being Black is being human,” Kimberly said. “Black people are often regarded as less than what they are worth, and they have to prove themselves. I don’t want to do that. No one has to prove that they are human.”