The Washington-Marion High School student council hosted a community Black History Walk on Wednesday. The event brought together the band, cheerleaders, clubs and community partners in the first-time event designed to bring awareness to the accomplishments of African Americans.
"You think about the March on Washington. So, this is the March at Washington," Crystal Bowie, assistant principal, said. "Marches were used to commemorate or bring awareness to things and our student council has used this month to get kids to start looking and searching through the different facets of African American history that they don't necessarily think about on a day-to-day basis."
So far this month the student council has commemorated Black History Month through themed days and a living history walk each designed to demonstrate that, "We are history. We are making black history," Sha'Mya Lorden, 11th grader, said.
The walk, she said, was the perfect way to get the whole school community behind the idea. "We wanted to do something we've never done. Something out of the box where everybody could be involved...A movement really, something bigger than ourselves."
Bowie said the student council certainly achieved its goal as the walk fell perfectly in line with the "rich tradition" of community, family and success that brands both the school and African American heritage.
Lorden agreed saying, "A lot of time people overlook how prideful we should be about this month, but we really should because of the people who paved the way for us. So, we want to publicize to them that every day you make history. You're leaving a legacy."
Janaya Woodard, 10th grader, said she proud to attend the historically black school especially in light of its recent improved school performance score which ranks WMMS as a B. "Before I came here, like in middle school, people would say, ‘Oh, they're a bad school.' But look at us now. We're progressing. We have a good brand. I'm glad to be a part of it and make history," she said.
Bowie said Lorden and Woodard's feelings of pride are essential to the month and the overall cultural shift WMMS is currently experiencing. "We love that we're known for our athletics but we're just shifting that focus to be more well-rounded--focusing on every aspect of the school...We want to create life-long learners students who, like this walk, are going to give back to their community."