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How these Forsyth County students are celebrating Black History month this year
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Denmark High School’s Black Student Union displays their main Black History Month exhibit in the school with words describing what they each believe the month is all about. Photo courtesy of the Denmark High School Black Student Union.

A group of Denmark High students is going all out for Black History Month this year, hosting events and decorating the school’s hallways to bring attention to influential Black historical figures.

The school celebrates the month every year by displaying information and teaching students about significant events and people in Black history. But this year, the members of the Black Student Union asked to take the celebration to a new level.

Together, the club officers created exhibits to put in the hallways featuring themes and historical figures that are personally important to them and their families.

The first exhibit features quotes and artwork of figures like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and former U.S. President Barack Obama. The display is surrounded by words written by club members that describe what Black history is to them — “inspiring,” “culture,” “pride” and many more.

“What better way to show how we view Black History Month personally by creating those things for the entire school to see,” said Pelumi Lawal, a senior and co-president of the Black Student Union. “We thought let’s just go all out and try to inspire others, spread awareness and help people understand more about our values and history.”

Another exhibit features Black musicians like Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and James Brown with information about their music, contributions to Black culture, photos and a QR code that, when scanned on a phone, leads students to a video of one of their live performances.

The students said they loved working on these exhibits and adding their own personal flare to each one.

“It gives us more room to add personal experiences to what we’re doing,” Lawal said.

After putting up the exhibits, they wanted to do even more to help get information about Black history out to other students in the school. They worked with school administrators to incorporate more information into the morning announcements, started highlighting Black historical and cultural figures in daily Instagram posts on their page @dhsblackstudentunion, and even planned two events on campus.

The first is a movie watch party scheduled at the end of the month for students to all get together and watch a film featuring inspirational Black stories. The other is a celebration with games, music and food to commemorate the last day of Black History Month.

The students said planning the exhibits took a lot of time and work, but for them, it was worth every bit of effort.

“I feel like there are more misunderstandings between cultures and between different people because of how many different cultures there are [represented in Forsyth],” Lawal said. “And I feel like there’s a large misunderstanding of Black culture. I wanted to help people see Black culture from a holistic perspective.”

In a small way, Lawal hopes their efforts in spreading information on Black culture and history at Denmark help to make the school a better environment for all of its students. She hopes that, at least, their exhibits can be motivating for other students facing adversity.

“Now that I’m in a position where I can help other Black girls and Black students, I want to take advantage of that,” she said.

Each school in the county celebrates Black History Month with artwork and presentations contributed by students. The school district is also sharing a quote each day from Black cultural and historical figures on its social media.

Parents and students can find more information and resources on Black History Month on the district’s website,