Skip To ContentSkip To Content
    AAMA Student Leadership Council Reflects on Black History Month
    Posted on 02/08/2021

    AAMA Student Leadership Council Reflects on Black History Month

    About AAMA and SLC: The Office of African American Male Achievement Student Leadership Council is a network of student leaders who support each other at their schools and across the district while also providing guidance to Seattle Public Schools leadership and holding leadership accountable on priority initiatives of AAMA.

    In January's AAMA Student Leadership Council meeting, SLC members, referred to as Kings, were asked to reflect on why we celebrate Black History Month, what they traditionally learn, and if Black History Month should continue to be celebrated.

    AAMA staff shared the Vice video "Why Black History Month Shouldn’t Exist" to start a conversation with SLC members.

    Why Black History Month Shouldn't Exist, Let Lee Explain

    Before you read more of the student's reflections, AAMA Manager Adam Haizlip has a suggestion: "Hold Up! Hold Up! Hold Up! We dropped the link above, but before you judge our blackness, digest the video and our students' responses.

    "I agree with the statement the gentleman made in the Vice video. We shouldn't need a Black History Month, Black history should be present in literally everything we do in school, Black people have contributed to near everything you can think of when it comes to civilization and society. A wonderful substitute for Black History Month would be the implementation of Black History in all of our classes both on a local and global level, therefore Black students see themselves in the curriculum and others acknowledge and internalize the fact that we’re here too." - Ajala

    "Every month already acknowledges white history every day, but they only acknowledge Black history for 28 days (the shortest month of the year). And, when we talk about Black history, we only focus on the Civil Rights Era as if the rest of our history didn't matter. We talk about how MLK lived but not about how he died, like that isn't important too. I feel like it's kinda like an excuse for people to show that they care for a month and act like we don't matter for every other day. It's like the #TuesdayBlackout thing, people can just post a black screen for one day, act like they care, and stay silent every other day. We should be talking about it every day because it's a problem that a lot of us have to face every day. People are not gonna stop being racist for one month." - Kevin

    "I feel like we shouldn’t have Black History Month. First and foremost, it’s the shortest month of the year. Secondly, as Black people, we treat the month like Thanksgiving. Lastly, it gives other people a HUGE opportunity to bite off our culture. I done seen so many people rock the Dashiki shirts that shouldn’t be. Another thing that I agree with is that they teach what they want us to know during Black History Month. Of course they gon teach us bout the MLKs but what about the Robert Smalls?" - LeManuel

    Beyond Black History Month, the Office of AAMA celebrates African American history 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Everyday is a celebration of Black Excellence, especially when you are looking to acknowledge it.

    Far too often we celebrate American history without acknowledging the contributions of Black Americans. AAMA is working to show that Black history is American history. Please share the words of our Kings along with the following resources to celebrate Black Excellence, not just this month, but every day.

    Educational Resources for Black History Month

    Learn more about the Office of African American Male Achievement.