Across the nation in February, people honor and pay homage to the African American heroes like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Frederick Douglass. In Montgomery County, there are many events being held throughout the month where students can learn about the rich history of the African American community.
The Germantown Public Library will be hosting a variety of educational events throughout the month. The library will be featuring an exhibit, titled ‘Making a Difference: African American Women and the Civil Rights Movement’. This diverse exhibit will feature photographs and stories of women involved in the modern African American struggle for civil rights. On February 22, the library will also be holding a book discussion at 3 p.m. to explore the major themes and characters of a heart-warming African American novel, the title is to be announced.
Starting on February 7, from 12-4 p.m., Josiah Henson Park in Rockville will be celebrating Black History Month to honor the struggles of civil rights leaders. The park will have free guided tours by historians and archaeologists to explore the tracks of Reverend Josiah Henson, who worked as a slave in the 19th century. Students will have the opportunity to discover Henson’s steps to the Underground Railroad and walk the land where he worked as a slave.
The park will also showcase PBS’s documentary on “The Search for Josiah Henson.” On the last day of February, the Black History Month celebrations will culminate in a poetry event called Lyrical Rhythms: The Sounds of Freedom. Open to all ages, community members will have the opportunity to listen and participate in this event that celebrates the tales of African Americans. Students can also volunteer as trail guides on the the Underground Railroad Experience Trail to get a hands-on chance to learn about the struggles of slaves in America.
Schools throughout the county are celebrating Black History Month with events, dances, and public speakers. Last year, former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo inspired young students at William Tyler Page Elementary School with his advice and stories of his difficulties growing up in the Congo. He reminded students to always remember their past in order to change the future.
Earle B. Wood Middle School has been known to hold a dance celebration where the step team gives an exciting performance. In previous years, discussions were held after students watched a video about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the influence of the Black Power and Black Panthers movement.
There will be many celebrations held at parks, libraries, and schools throughout Montgomery County that will provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the lives of famous African American legends and the daily struggle of slaves in America. Attending these events is an educational way for students to honor the civil rights leaders and the martyrs who fought for the nation we live in today.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Akanksha Girish of Richard Montgomery High School.
Graphic by the MoCo Student graphic artist Angel Wen of Blair High School