Honoring Black History with MHS Men & Women of Color


Manal Yusuf

Leaders of WOC and MOC collaborate to plan activities for Black History Month.

Manal Yusuf, Staff Writer

February is Black History Month, an annual observance for recognizing and honoring the contributions of African-Americans throughout history. Students from Men and Women of Color are commemorating this month by organizing various ongoing activities and educational booths.

Valerie Kelling, ‘24, and Arsema Tadesse, ‘23, are leaders of the Women of Color (WOC) club, and Academic and Student Support Coordinator Careino “Reno” Gurley is one of the coordinators for the Men of Color (MOC) club. 

“Some highlights so far have been talking with people about music and movies by Black actors, directors and artists that we enjoy and that are significant in African-American culture,” said Kelling. Black artists are a major part of Black culture and history, with a legacy that is still visible today, and are considered especially important to celebrate during Black History Month. Students such as Kelling, who are members of WOC or MOC, organize various booths that highlight these notable figures, and help create a series of videos that draw attention to historical Black leaders.

Tadesse emphasized the importance of teaching and recognizing Black history. “In history class we learn about the importance of preserving history, because in order to make positive steps towards the future, we need to avoid making mistakes from the past.” Learning about Black history can help students better understand and empathize with Black people today. 

A major highlight for Gurley has been the student involvement this month. “Seeing students get involved and collaborate with each other is awesome,” he said. He enjoyed seeing members of WOC and MOC grow and flourish through their dedication to a common goal. 

For the students of WOC and MOC, and many people across the nation, Black History Month is a crucial time to reflect and educate on the struggles of the Black community and simultaneously celebrate them, all while working toward an inclusive and equitable community for all.