Honoring Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, Carmel High School students in U.S. History classes and the SUNY Racism, Classism & Sexism class are honoring accomplished Black individuals in history and current day. 

Students each chose an individual to research and then created a presentation highlighting that person’s achievements, personal lives and historical contributions. Beginning on February 1 and continuing each day throughout the month, students have taken turns presenting their chosen individual to their peers in class. The presentations open opportunities for classroom discussions regarding each different individual. 

The accomplished Black individuals chosen have included activists, actors, musicians, scientists and more – actor Morgan Freeman, singer Aretha Franklin, writer Langston Hughes and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, just to name a few. While some students chose Black individuals that are familiar to them in some way, other students chose individuals that they did not know, with the intention of learning something new. 

“I chose Sojourner Truth and the reason that I picked her is because I wanted to choose someone more historical,” said senior Teagan W. “I knew about her and what she did, but I didn’t really know the details. I chose her to learn more in-depth history.” 

“I chose Chuck Berry because I love rock music and I play guitar, I had listened to his music before, but I never took the chance to find out more personal information about him,” said Danna M. “It felt like a full circle.” 

“I picked Malcolm X because he is someone that we don’t hear about in school, but he did so much for this country and I personally admire his views,” said senior Saanvi P. “I wanted to amplify that.” 

“I chose Nat King Cole because he was a very big musical inspiration when I was growing up,” said senior Gianna M. 

At the end of the month, teachers Eric Frink and Kerry Hackert will also share presentations of their own chosen individuals to round out the list. 

“I chose Sam Cooke so that the students learn more about him,” said Frink. “He is a personal favorite of mine and so multi-faceted."