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The Park Press

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Black History Month is Every Month

Black History Month is Every Month

February is known as Black History Month. During this month, we honor African American successes and struggles in history. 

Unlike many schools in the WV area, Wheeling Park High School offers a Black history course. This course is a history elective, taught by Mr. Phillip Howard.

Regardless of race, the push for racial fairness and dignity – coming to grips with the traumas of slavery, apartheid and Post-Civil Rights institutional inequality – must be a multiracial campaign,” Howard said.

Although Mr. Howard is one of the more involved history teachers, the whole history department emphasizes Black history during the month of February. Mr. Rick March, the head of the history department, has a lot of new ideas that the department has come up with to celebrate Black History Month.

“We are in the process of bringing in Mr. Pete Chacalos, he came to our school last year and he talked about an all Black regiment from the civil war,” Marsh said. 

The history department at Park has also worked closely with Mrs. Unique Murphy on collaborating for Black History Month. 

Mrs. Unique Murphy has been a recent addition to the staff at Park in the last few years. She is the Ohio County Schools Community in Schools social worker. She has many exciting plans to celebrate black culture but specifically to emphasize it this month. Some of her plans include: Black History Spirit Week, Textured Hair Expo, and bringing representatives to talk about Black History.

“We are bringing in local artists from the area, broadcasting a BIOPIC… we will have giveaways, finger foods, etc,” Unique said.

This expo will be held at Bridge Street Middle School on February 22nd, from 5-6:30 PM. They will have stylists and barbers as well.

Information for the Textured Hair Expo in late February.

“I encourage anyone and everyone to come…even if you come for 10 minutes,” Unique said.

“I want to bring in representatives from the NAACP…I’m gonna have them talk about what the NAACP does for everyone, why the chapter should continue…they want to start a youth chapter and get people involved…we do have a Wheeling chapter, so they will be coming too,” Murphy said. 

However, several Black students at Wheeling Park feel that the school could do better making them feel included. 

“I think staff could use some additional training,” Gideon Titus-Glover said.

“I think the school could create a community for all the Black students to know each other, because it’s isolating being different in a school full of white people,” Maya Collins said.

With all focus on Black History Month, we often forget to have the same positive energy all throughout the year.

“I celebrate Black History Month like every month of the year,” Mrs. Dionne Cox said.

“Wheeling Park tries their best to represent diversity all year long…if it’s not something you are consciously thinking about, then you don’t know to make it a habit…even if people don’t think we are good at it [diversity] as long as I’m here, we will be,” Unique said.

“Racism does exist however they define it…next is what are we gonna do about it? I think sometimes in our school, or in our county we don’t admit that it’s a problem, but the first thing to do with anything involving being inclusive is being honest,” Cox said. 

“So when they hear that I am not white, – it’s that piece of information, (she says she not white, but she looks it or she says she is mixed/African American but she doesn’t look it) doesn’t fit with what they believe to be true about race. That piece of information is outside their box. It’s the fact that they can’t reconcile that new piece of information and what is already in their box that makes them get uncomfortable and nasty,” OVAASA’s African-American Teacher of the Year in 2023, Mrs. Morgan Bayes said.

February is the month of love. Don’t forget to spread that around to anyone and everyone. Honor the lives that brought us here today. Happy Black History Month, and don’t forget to celebrate Black pride every day of the year!

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About the Contributor
Chloe Humway, Social Media Editor
  • Journalism I
  • Senior (she/ they)
  • Co-captain of the WPHS Speech and Debate Team, Park Players, American Cancer Society Youth Board
  • "You can be your own supergirl, with or without the cape." --Melissa Benoist
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