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Black History Essay Contest Winner: Aleeya Hussemann

Aleeya Hussemann
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This spring we're airing the winning entries from the Black History Essay Contest, sponsored by the City of Bloomington and its Human Relations Commission.

Here is the essay from second-place high school winner Aleeya Hussemann from Bloomington High School. Learn more about the other winners and the Human Relations Commission.

It’s the month of Black History. The month that should acknowledge every African race, every ethnic group, and every person of color that has touched the roots of our society. We read and acknowledge the literature composed by Frederick Douglass, the story of Rosa Parks, the speech of Martin Luther King, etc. In our society today, we have got to acknowledge more. Every black abolitionist, entrepreneur, revolutionary, activist, has helped us to get where we are today. There are a tremendous amount of people in black history who aren't shed light on. We have to acknowledge everyone, starting with an education system that doesn’t pick and choose which black history, but covers its entirety. In America, it is our responsibility to acknowledge the despicable and cruel acts that had taken place from 1776 until 1865. In addition, its important for our society today, to take responsibility in educating our children on the eminence of black history and how are leaders in the past have shaped our community, that we continue to grow as well.

Black History is a subject that has been controversial for many people who do not wish to accept diversity or reform especially this past year and now in 2021. In our society today, we have faced many devastating challenges. From the current global pandemic to the environmental crisis, political and social-economic crisis, and unemployment hurting the economy. Throughout all of these troubles, racism will always be a common factor in the way we live and interact with each other. Racism has drawn us farther apart than it ever has brought us together, even during Black History Month. This is a reform that we need to advocate for and educate our communities on, to participate in learning about the oppressed who are in our textbooks, on the internet, and in our history. Black History in our society has been expressed through multiple ways, one especially being social media. In these acts of performative activism, many people express differentiated opinions online about Black History Month and people of color in general. The impact Black History has on those unwilling to reason or find peace against discrimination/racism is a struggle that our status quo in today’s society will continue to be over-challenged with unless we accept each other no matter the color , while recognizing the past that has brought black people to where we are today.

Black History has allowed me to appreciate who I am, and utilize the resources and books to further learn about the leaders in our history. In my life, experiencing racism, unfortunately, has become more normal than it should. Black History Month is important to me because it is something that we should all care about and be educated on, to acknowledge what our Black entertainers, artists, writers, justices, activists, leaders, visionaries, etc., have done for our people of color. Black History has inspired me too use my voice, for myself, and others. Standing up for what is wrong in our society against people of color is something I am extremely passionate about. Going out in the community and seeing people come together to speak out against racism and show the love and respect that people deserve is something that I wish , for the entirety of our nation.

The most important impact that Black History has had on our society is the opportunities for children and adults to feel more connected throughout our Black History in our community. Black History has impacted the way we acknowledge prejudiced beliefs and values that shouldn’t divide us as a whole but support each other through companionship. Putting aside our differences and continuing the determination to teach our youth about Black History is impacting our society through love and connections that will help our future generations. Not only does Black History impact our society, it impacts our hearts. We learn to love each other even stronger in the ways we are connected with each other, knowing past history while making history in the same moments. The memories we hold and stories that we share can cause growth in our society for the better, and Black History Month makes these momentous aims achievable.