Black History Month: 13th viewing and discussion

Mikayla Hartley, Staff Writer

On Feb. 13, the Black History Month committee along with students Jaeda Lay and Mikailah Thompson had a screening of the 2016 documentary, 13th in the TCC Auditorium Library. The documentary depicts the criminalization of African Americans and the resulting U.S. prison boom.
The film follows the history of enslavement in America, and how although it is perceived that equality has been accomplished, the country still has a long way to go politically and socially.
After the screening, a discussion opened between the audience and the two students, Lay and Thompson.
The two seniors let the audience ask them questions to spur discussion, to help better everyone’s world view.
One question from an audience member was “How important do you feel it is to learn about this?”
Lay said, “Black history and American history are not separate. They are the same.” Since this country was founded, the involvement and contributions of black people cannot be ignored.
Many laws and key points in history marginalized the inclusion of people of color. Mikailah’s answer was “Let them know what real American history is because we learned with what the textbooks taught us.”
History is best told through stories. Textbooks can only give general data and explanations, but it’s through the power of storytelling do people see through the lives of others.
If you missed the viewing, you can watch “13th” on Netflix now. The themes of this 2016 documentary are even more relevant in today’s political climate. National Black History Month may almost be over, but the discussion should not stop.