School gathers to celebrate Black History Month

Event includes recognition of Cecilia Mimms

Students, faculty and staff gathered in the Welch Activity Center on Feb. 13 to celebrate Black History Month.

Lauryn Woods

Students, faculty and staff gathered in the Welch Activity Center on Feb. 13 to celebrate Black History Month.

Ava Amos, Reporter

Black History Month is here and it’s a time for celebration. 

Earlier this month, Vice President for Community Relations and Diversity Mr. Ken Barlow ‘82 was trying to gather 18 students to present at the assembly on that occurred on Feb. 7, and Mother Nature and days off school were providing them a challenge.

“We’ve been trying to have practices but its been somewhat difficult only because of the weather. And it’s not an excuse because we will be ready, but we were supposed to practice (Jan. 30) but we didn’t have school, then the schedule for (Jan. 31) changed so we couldn’t practice, then (Feb. 1) we were out again. But we have such great students that 85 percent of them showed up on Super Bowl Monday to practice,” Barlow said

Barlow said the goal was to showcase black history from the students’ perspective and to empower the school to recognize black history is not just in the past, but occurs today through African American students and the numerous talents they displayed in the Welch Activity Center. 

“I think it’s important. The black history month assembly and black history month in general is relevant today to help acknowledge and recognize the contributions of African Americans in American culture that many times goes overlooked,” Barlow said. 

Carter G. Woodson was an African American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the study of African American life and history. He was one of the first scholars to study African American history and is the originator of Black History Month in 1926 in the United States, but back then it was called “Negro History Week” and took place the second week of February. 

“Carter G. Wilson thought it was important to actually formulate it around the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln and it has since evolved from a week into a month,” he said. Frederick Douglass’s birthday is Feb. 14, and Abraham Lincoln’s is Feb. 12. This is the reason why Black History Month is in February. But the event wasn’t officially recognized as Black History Month until the 1970s.

Renaming the auxiliary gym

During the assembly Ms. Cecilia Mimms ’77 was recognized for her accomplishments in athletics as a three-sport athlete playing volleyball, basketball track and as an alumna. To honor her the auxiliary gym is now dedicated to her as the Mimms Gymnasium. 

Mimms said, “It is one of the best things that has happened in my life. I knew I worked hard in high school and sharing my accomplishments with the students was awesome.” She said that she thought the assembly was wonderful, the talent was impressive and Mr. Barlow stole the show. 

She said she wanted to thank Mrs. Kathleen Welsh and her husband who provided the financial support to change the name of the gym. “They made this all possible,” she said. 

“I really enjoyed the black history month assembly. Of the four that I have attended while at Cathedral this year’s was the best,” said senior Lucas Mattingly. 

“It was very good. I enjoyed many parts of the assembly and I loved listening and watching all the performances. My favorite part was the poem,” said junior Ashley Richards. 

The students involved in the assembly were seniors Joseph Finnell, Rylan Harvey, Maantiasha Maclin, Dailah McCoy, DaShann McGibboney and Kiyah Terrell; juniors Victoria Akinwande, Myhea Hollingsworth, Danielle Levingston, Kennedy Maye, Danaya McGibboney, JaCoi Robinson, A’Nya Wiley, and Janay Zak; sophomores Nyla Bingham, Arlissa Dumas, Aniya Exum, Alexis Parchman, Raja Thomas and Raya Young; and freshman Sha’Neyce Perry.