Young Voices & Black History Month

Christopher Wilson | Contributor

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FEBRUARY, 2017

Young Voices

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The month of February has been full of the following: sneezes, coughs, and even a continuous battle of Wintry weather converging with the Spring. However, the month of February isn’t about the altering of seasons, but about something that dates back to when several of our great-grandparents and grandparents fought for civil rights. The month of February is about highlighting those figures who stood up for what was morally right rather than to sit back and obey what was not.

This past week, my fellow members in Club B.A.S.I.C.- which stands for Brothers and Sisters Improvement Club- and I researched people that had an impact on society during the civil rights time period. Although many of us knew of Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, we found out later that we didn’t know about Fannie Lou Hamer or Shirley Ann Jackson that also had an impact on our society.

we all need to continue to learn more about these “hidden figures” that played an essential role in the 1950’s to the 1960’s because without them, we would not have the things we take for granted today

Fannie Lou Hamer was an advocate for civil rights. She worked to assist African-Americans to register to vote and she was one of the founders of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Shirley Ann Jackson was the first African-American woman to earn her doctorate degree at M.I.T. and she received her Ph. D in nuclear physics at M.I.T. in 1973. Both were phenomenal African American women that did not let their color stop them from achieving their dreams.

Aside from Hamer’s and Jackson’s accomplishments, one thing that I mentioned to my club was that there are still people in our society that are making a change for the better like Pharrell and Chance the Rapper. Both of these figures should be highlighted because they are both carrying out dreams like the famous activists and leaders did back then.

Aside from Hamer’s and Jackson’s accomplishments, one thing that I mentioned to my club was that there are still people in our society that are making a change for the better like Pharrell and Chance the Rapper.

One thing modern-day society has recently done is spotlight the people who have helped figures like Dr. King, or who came before Rosa Parks because they were an essential piece to history that was excluded out of history textbooks. Similarly, this reminds me of the movie Hidden Figures because I was not exposed to those three women and their African American colleagues that worked for NASA to accomplish an important mission for the U.S.A. Nevertheless, we all need to continue to learn more about these “hidden figures” that played an essential role in the 1950’s to the 1960’s because without them, we would not have the things we take for granted today.

Aside from Hamer’s and Jackson’s accomplishments, one thing that I mentioned to my club was that there are still people in our society that are making a change for the better like Pharrell and Chance the Rapper.

Christopher Wilson

Christopher Wilson

Student and Writer | Overton High School

I see myself in the near future pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at a prestigious
university and being a New York Times best-selling author of my own novel series.

More about Chris!

Some other things that I have peaked an interest in would be the different Teen Advisory Boards that I am a part of in the City of Memphis, such as UCAN of Memphis and the Shelby County Mayoral Youth Council. In school, I have the responsibility of being the President over my entire Sophomore Class, the President and Chairman of Leadership Development over a club named Club B.A.S.I.C., which stands for Brothers and Sisters Improvement Club, and many more leadership positions throughout my school. At times, doubt may cloud my mind; however, I have surrounded myself with family and friends who truly look out for the well-being of others and are willing to help without asking for anything in return. In response, I see myself in the near future pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at a prestigious university and being a New York Times best-selling author of my own novel series.

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