Webster Groves High School celebrates Black History Month

Emily Goben
News/Opinion Editor

black history month door
Teachers and students were encouraged to decorate doors in celebration of Black History Month. A door to the library is decorated in honor of late actor Chadwick Boseman. Photo by Emily Goben

February was officially declared Black History Month in the United States in 1976 under President Gerald Ford. It is intended to honor and raise awareness about black history, according to historian Carter G Woodson. 

Webster Groves High School celebrates Black History Month in various ways. 

The announcements feature a different piece of black history every day. 

Teachers and students have decorated doors to their classrooms in honor of Black History Month. 

Students in drama teacher Alexandra Pettey’s advisory class chose to decorate her door in honor of Jackie Robinson. 

Students in instructional tutor Connor White’s advisory class decorate their door as a timeline of black history in America scaled down to the context of one hour. White explained that some major events in black history only occurred 14 minutes ago in the context of America’s history being only one hour.  If America’s history was scaled back to only last an hour, some major events in black history only occurred 14 minutes ago. 

Physical education teacher Joshua Spuhl’s advisory class painted “Happy Black History Month” along with a heart and pictures of black icons like Tyler the Creator, Cardi B and Harriet Tubman.

“We have a heart to show love because we love all as they come,” senior Roy Smith said. 

WGHS Parents for Racial Equity met on Feb. 16. 

Varsity men’s basketball played in honor of Douglass High School on Friday, Feb. 11. The team wore purple and gold uniforms with the names of Douglass High School students, and any Douglass alumni were asked to stand and be honored at the beginning of the game. Douglass High School was a segregated high school in North Webster. 

Teachers make an effort to honor black history in their classrooms, as well. 

French teacher Jeff Stein said he has been “highlighting some of the people and events as it relates to French culture and language.” He recently taught his classes about Josephine Baker, a black American who moved to France to pursue a career in entertainment and became a key asset to the French Resistance and an avid civil rights activist. 

English teacher Chloe Telle encourages her students to challenge white washed history. Her students were assigned a project in which they are asked to distinguish between the myth and the reality of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Telle said this assignment is designed to take a push back at how being black is defined in this country.

Telle said she wants her students to understand they are a “person who is planted in history right now,” so she studies current events with her classes. She said she wants her students to realize that someday people will be learning about events going on in Missouri right now that her students are living through, and she wants her students to understand the connection between modern-day events and the way that people of color are viewed in America. 

See Also: Black History leaves its mark in St. Louis

See Also: Voices of Webster: High school observes Black History Month


Emily Goben – News/Opinion Editor

This will be Emily Goben’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year.

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