Gaffney High Celebrates Black History Month

Alyssa Washington, Business Editor

February is the month of black history. Gaffney High School’s Black History Month program’s 2017 theme was “Remember – Educate – Celebrate.” Each year, the Black History Month program showcases students, faculty, alumni, and community members who are honoring our past leaders.  This program has been an annual tradition at GHS for over 20 years.

Hyacinth J. Phillips, Black History Month Committee Chairperson, speaks about the program and the program’s goal. “This year’s theme was inspired by the national theme. As a school, we want to always REMEMBER those who have paved the way for us, EDUCATE others, and CELEBRATE Black History not just during the month of February, but throughout the year. It is important for every race, creed and nationality to know the struggles and history of African Americans and how this history is related to and has affected ALL Americans. Our Black History Month program and all of the activities we do throughout the month is used to celebrate cultural diversity and contributions of African Americans. The program participants usually consist of GHS students from different school organizations (Drama, Elite Dance, Higher Than I, Honor Choir, etc.). The participants are able to share their talents through song, dance or speaking. We also use people from our community who may be former students or people that work with the school in different ways.”

Taji Mayberry, senior at GHS, discusses what black history means to him, his favorite part of the program, and what his monologue highlighted. “Black History to me is a celebration of not only the progression of people of color, but also how the nation has revolutionized from slavery. Black History is a symbol of the country morphing slowly, but truly becoming the land of the ‘American Dream.’ As I looked into the audience, there were far more people in attendance than the last program I went to; this was my favorite part of the program. It was nice to see all those different people from different backgrounds come united to support Black History. My monologue is what I felt for a long time, but I could not figure out the words to vocalize my feelings together. The piece, made by Prince EA, speaks about how we as people commonly use labels to define others. What we fail to realize is that labels blind our perception of each other and only hold us back as people and as a nation. I chose that piece because I felt was what everyone needed to hear during these controversial times. My monologue was showing that labels cannot and will not equal liberty.” Lastly, Mayberry gives a few friendly words of advice. “If you didn’t get to experience the program this year I strongly recommended you do next year. It was really a great experience. One last word of advice, do not let labels define yourself or others, life will be so much easier that way.

This year’s speaker was Dr. Regina Norris Monroe, a 1993 Gaffney High School graduate. Monroe received a full scholarship to Duke University, studied chemistry, and graduated with a bachelor of arts in chemistry in 1997. Afterwards, she continued her education at Duke University School of Medicine where she graduated with a Doctor of Medicine degree 2002. Today, Monroe is a Pediatric Urologist with Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital in Greenville, SC, and Pediatric Urology Clerkship Director, University of South Carolina of Medicine, Greenville, SC.

Let us all celebrate black history during not only the month of February, but throughout the entire year. Let us remember to honor our black leaders, educate the generations to come, and celebrate black history every day.