Celebrating Black History Month

Catalyst for change, brings cultural awareness through various events


At the Student Equity and Belonging Committee (SEBC) meeting in the NC library on Jan. 20, students had discussions with Jennifer Rowe, and created questions on how LT can work on building a more inclusive community (Lazich/LION).

Kathryn Lazich, Reporter

After sitting through history classes, Morgan Ferrell ‘24 noticed a trend within the lessons being taught about African American history: oftentimes the same facets of Black history were being re-taught year after year. This recurrence has created some frustration for students within the Black community as they feel their culture and history has not been fully represented when talking about it in most class settings, Ferrell said. 

“There’s so many different aspects of American history that are brushed over and simplified that Blackness is just slavery and the civil rights movement,” Ferrell said. “The Black experience in America is such a unique and multifaceted one, yet rarely are we exposed to Black joy in the curriculum the same way that we are repeatedly exposed to Black pain. It gets to the point where people reduce Black Americans’ contributions to American history as fragments of our nation’s timeline when [in truth] Blackness in America runs deeper than that.” 

Teachers in the LT community have been working on improving the ways they teach students about different communities that make up American history, Director of Equity and Belonging  Jennifer Rowe said. Most recently, during the District Institute day on Jan. 9, LT staff participated in a professional development session called “The Sharing Symposium,” where educators explored ideas about belonging and culturally responsive teaching practices.

“We, as educators, can perpetuate things based on our own experiences, so we have to change our experiences,” Rowe said. “We have to unlearn and relearn. That’s been a really important part for me coming here. I know our teachers are really working on doing better because any group shouldn’t only see themselves through a lens of pain.” 

On Feb. 24, LT will continue to celebrate Black History Month with a performance by Two Brown Sisters taking place at SC during third period, and at NC during sixth period. This performance will incorporate songs, poetry, African drum dance, and thought-provoking storytelling to guide audiences through an immersive history lesson, according to an LT Equity Update shared with teachers on Jan. 13. 

All teachers are highly encouraged to attend these performances because it will expand students’ knowledge and awareness towards different aspects of Black history, Rowe said. 

The Two Brown Sisters performance will be hosted by Maggie and Africa Brown, who are both daughters of the late Oscar Brown Jr., a performer, poet, playwright, and civil rights activist from Chicago. 

In collaboration, there will also be performances from LT’s Choir and Steppers woven into this program. Students that are helping plan this event hope that it will start more conversations among the LT community about parts of African American history that are not typically taught in classes, Ferrell said. 

“Even with my own friend groups [and] my family, it’s about having conversations [based on this],” Ferrell said. “I would say that has been something that’s been very important because I didn’t realize that a lot of people around me weren’t aware of the things that students like [myself] have to experience in terms of being at a predominantly white school, and going that extra step in having those uncomfortable conversations is so important.” 

The Student Equity and Belonging Committee (SEBC) also helped highlight Black History Month by planning the watch party of the new documentary, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” which took place on Feb. 9-10. 

With the committee serving as an outlet for all students at LT, Madison Ferrell ‘24 along with her sister Morgan, have found comfort in being avid participants of SEBC, so they can help foster a more welcoming environment in the school community. 

“We have the ability to make a more inclusive space for everybody,” Madison said. “I feel like right now we’re moving away from tolerance and more towards acceptance, because there’s a difference. I want everyone to be accepted no matter what their identity is.”

It is important to celebrate the achievements of Black history and bring to light the figures that are not often talked about, she said.  

“We are what we celebrate, and it’s so important to learn about our greater American story, the contributions [made], and that we celebrate those voices,” Rowe said. “Black History Month is just that call to action.”