By: Sullivan RogersEdge Reporter Members
On Feb. 16 – two weeks into Black History Month– RogersEdge Reporter students at Sullivan High School in Rogers Park Chicago were talking about what Black History Month means to them.
Black History Month, which has been recognized since 1976, is being celebrated by Rogers Edge students at Sullivan High School through a spirit week which honors Black culture. Students have participated by wearing clothing that honors the nationally recognized month.
Black History Month is about Black culture and how it’s been celebrated over time. The month-long celebration every February was officially recognized by U.S. President Gerald Ford to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans”. Sullivan students have recognized the tradition and its importance as part of U.S. history.
Feyisara Olaleye, Sullivan Sophomore; interviewed Favour Mamudu, Sullivan Senior
“During Black History Month it is a way for Black people to get their story out and it is also a form of reparation for all the things that America has done to them.”
Erin Adams, Sullivan Sophomore; interviewed Kassim Norris, Sullivan Freshman
“It means a lot to me considering my heritage. I think Black History Month is a good way to represent what African-Americans have struggled with in America. We have to recognize what Black people as a whole and as a community have been through and we can do this by supporting Black-owned businesses.”
Olamide Olaleye, Sullivan Senior; interviewed Sarah Gul, Sullivan Freshman
“What Black History Month means to me is to appreciate people around me regardless of their color especially Black people around the world because they are always treated badly and wrongly, we shouldn’t only treat them well during the Black History Month. They should be treated well everyday of the year.”
Destiny Paramore, Sullivan Freshman; interviewed Cristian Carreto, Sullivan Freshman
“To me black history month means embracing important people that had a good impact in our society. Our school is doing a spirit week and I’ve been participating in it everyday and that’s how I’ve been celebrating it along with my school.”
Sullivan, a school that prides itself in being racially diverse, celebrates Black History Month by engaging in spirit week and a Week Of Action. Where students can discuss how Sullivan can make Black lives better, listen to cultural music, and wear Black history bracelets and cultural outfits. Outside of school, some Sullivan students honored the holiday with their families and other members of the greater Rogers Park community.
Favour Mamudu, Sullivan Senior; interviewed Feyisara Olaleye, Sullivan Sophomore
“Black History Month is the appreciation and acknowledgement of blackness in all aspects of society. Blackness to me means pride and being Black is pride.”
Oluwanifemi Onifade, Sullivan Sophomore; interviewed Hajir Hasan, Sullivan Sophomore
When asked what does Black History Month means to her, Sullivan sophomore Hajir Hasan said, “Black History Month to me represents Black people. It appreciates them by dedicating a month to them and it also celebrates Black people’s history and their culture.
Hasan is happy to see spirit week at Sullivan for Black History Month and to see students participate.
Hajir Hasan, Sullivan Sophomore; interviewed Oluwanifemi Onifade, Sullivan Sophomore
“Black History Month means celebrating my people,” said Nifemi Onifade, a sophomore at Sullivan. “Celebrating what they went through and celebrating their liberation from racial segregation.”
Onifade continued by saying, “Black to me is my identity, the way I speak, the way I eat, my culture, basically everything about me.” She participated in spirit week in Sullivan to honor Black History Month.
Christian Carreto Sullivan Freshman; interviewed Destiny Paramore, Sullivan Freshman
“Black History Month means a lot to me, not only because of my skin color but because of the fact we get a month to celebrate our culture and history. My family is celebrating it by watching Black History movies and cooking culture meals such as soul food that includes corn bread, fried chicken, etc.”