Black History month is very important to me because it acknowledges those who have come before me and accomplished things that contribute to our lives today.  In the past African Americans had the bravery and confidence to confront the situations that they seemed to face. These people were very talented and that talent led to the creations of many products that are used today.  Benjamin Banneker was an African American man who had created the first wooden clock. He was an astronomer, a mathematician and a big inspiration to me. This man held so much knowledge and skills that he was one of the first to predict a solar eclipse.

It seems like we all look past the fact that racism is present in this world and that African Americans had to endure so much pain and suffering in order to have equality. Black History month gives everyone an insight on what African Americans had to do in order to get their rights. These people were beaten, bruised, judged and killed for only being who they were. I live in Selma, Alabama which is where the Bloody Sunday March occurred. Despite living here for 16 years, everyday as I ride across that bridge it always seems to get harder and harder because of the fight that my cousins, aunts and uncles put up to be seen as equal. Even though I was not there experiencing these things taking place, Black History month is the time where events like those are being embedded and embraced to be shared with others.

All year round, many kids are not made aware of the important history that involves African American people. We all know about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, but what about the others? Now, don’t get me wrong, these people were important, however there are many more African Americans in history that also influenced change and are just as important. People like Nat Turner, George Stinney Jr, Sojourner Truth and Malcolm X are just a few people that go unnoticed throughout the school year. However, Black History Month is the time where my history is acknowledged and everyone who played a part in this wonderful outcome called integration will be recognized. Even though in my city Black History month is everyday, many others across the country are only taught Black History in February. Black History will always be apart of me and the generations that will come after.

Maria Byrd 
GUA Ambassador 
Southside High School
Class of 2020