I first noticed it when I was a freshman.
At Greenwich High School February is associated with Valentine's day and winter break. There is no mention of Black History month whatsoever. So while the school is papered with hearts, this year I had enough. I decided to make my own posters and a banner that said "Happy Black History month."
I have to admit that in the past the media center has done a display of literature and artwork for Black History month. But this year they skipped it in favor of a display about Dating Violence awareness month.
I've been working with the president of student government, Jonathan Muhlrad, who has been an outstanding collaborator. He has brainstormed ideas with me, including possibly arranging a speaker during diversity week that would dovetail with the end of black history month.
But the fact remains that so far this year there is still nothing. No events, no morning announcements, and no display in the media center.
This is not surprising. If you look back in the school's history, in 1971, there was a GHS event called "Slave Day". There are photos in the 1971 Compass yearbook of students dressed up in costumes and being auctioned off as "slaves" to their "masters."
Then, even more recently, in 1994, there was the infamous yearbook incident in which five male students coordinated their Compass yearbook quotes so that when they were strung together they formed three words: "kill," "all," "ni," "gg," "ers," respectively.
I'm not blaming the current GHS comunity for "Slave Day" or the yearbook incident, but it is still part of our school's history and all the more reason that we should celebrate Black History Month.
Before I began my mission to force the school to celebrate Black History month, I approached the Director of Student Activities with my feelings. I told her the omission was not lost on me or other black students. Her response was that GHS had done plenty because the previous year there was a poetry contest for Black History month.
In my opinion, the GHS community seems to feel like Black History month is just unnecessary, and that injustice, inequality and prejudice ended after the Civil Rights Movement. They haven't.