Black History Poems

latorial-faisonFebruary is usually recognized as Black History Month throughout the United States. This celebration of the accomplishments of African Americans in the US has its beginnings in 1915, when the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History was organized. This association, later renamed the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, sponsored the very first Negro History week in 1926. The month of February was selected, and the event scheduled to coincide with Frederick Dougass’ and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. This event was responsible for the inspiration for communities and schools throughout the nation to stage events, organize history clubs and organize lectures and performances. Over the years, Negro History Week evolved into the modern-day Black History Month.

Poems about Black History Month have been written by well-known contemporary poets as well as young elementary students. One African-American poet who has received acclaim for her writings on the topic of Black History Month is Latorial Faison. She has been published in such works as Southern Women’s Review, Underwired Magazine, Red River Review, Chicken Bones and RiverSedge. She was also recognized for her dedication and willingness to volunteer to assist the members of the U. S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division during its first deployment to Iraq. For her contributions to this effort, she was awarded the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Public Service. She currently teaches as Sejong University in South Korea as an assistant professor for English.

Buffalo Soldiers
by Latorial Faison

When asked why she enjoys writing, Faison stated that she wants to help encourage and lift up people with her words, to inspire them towards greater things. She acknowledged that she has always been well-behaved and respectful, but that she also believes in standing up and speaking out for those who have been deprived, denied, or underprivileged. Her idea about writing is that, through her writings, which reflect much of her own experiences growing up, that she can show others that someone else has also faced the same problems in life, and that someone was able to beat those odds.

What is Black History?
By Latorial Faison

As mentioned earlier, poems about Black History have been written by a multitude of people over the years. They are part of school celebrations, allowing children from all races and backgrounds to learn and understand the challenges that faced African slaves brought to the United States (as well as to other countries) during the 1700s and 1800s. It is not unusually to hear of poetry contests from which winning poems are selected and read by the student during school assemblies and other gatherings. Sometimes these poems are printed and handed out as part of program for various events, or even turned into large murals painted in the hallways of auditoriums, classrooms, and hallways. Colleges also have similar celebrations, as well as do other businesses and organizations. One poet who writes about the definition of black history is Sharna Tiana Tagon x . Her poem, Black History, recounts many of the accomplishments made by supporters and promoters of the black history movement in the United States.

Black History
by Sharna Tiana Tagon x



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