Black History Month Committee Reinvents Celebrations: Honoring Culture at North Atlanta


Kristen Dickerson, Lydia Scott

Black History Month is fast approaching and there’s plenty of festivities to be had — who’s ready?

It seems like every year, Black History Month becomes more and more of an obligatory ceremony rather than a true celebration. This year, North Atlanta is flipping the script. The Black History Month Committee is pulling out all the stops for a full month of culturally woke events. From the start of February to the finish, the month is full of can’t-miss experiences certain to capture the true essence of African American history.

The month has several events planned, titled: A Black Film Night & Discussion Panel, The Shop, Girl Talk, Family Reunion, Weekly DJ, and Food Truck Tuesday. Elliott Reid, the Black History Month Committee Chair and African-American Studies teacher, has planned these festivities in an attempt to make more out of Black History Month than the typical (well-deserved, but overplayed) praise for the more-famous civil rights activists throughout history, such as Rosa Parks or MLK. He wants students to know that Black History isn’t only about what has happened in the past, but about what’s also happening now. “I think it is important for students to understand that they are not only a part of black history but the future of black history as well,” said Reid. “I believe this month will help students grasp this realization in a way that is both fun and engaging.”

Arguably one of the most iconic events of the month is the Icon Awards on February 7th and 8th. An interesting change from the classic showcase that North Atlanta typically puts on, the Icon Awards are created with the purpose of showcasing current-time black excellence. The show will offer awards for both students and public figures under the categories of Innovation, Athletics, Leadership, Entertainment, and Social Justice. “I’m really excited!” student and Icon Awards host Dylan Walker said. “For the past years, I feel like we’ve done a showcase and everyone just talked about Black History Month with nothing to follow it up. But this year, everyone’s going to get involved.”

In the past, the students of the AVTF pathway at NAHS have worked to create a video installment that would be shown in the showcase to mark the importance of Black History Month. However, this year, there will be several documentary-style videos shown in between performances at the Icon Awards. Directed by senior AVTF students Kennedy Epps-Green and AJ Carter, these videos have the purpose of illustrating the past, present, and future of the black experience. “I feel like there are so many sub-cultures within us that aren’t really represented, and I want to bring that to the attention of our students,” said Carter.

There is more to get excited about in February than ever before. From award shows to real discussions, Valentine’s Day will become merely a passing thought. Love is fickle, but black history? That is and forever will be here to stay.