The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk

The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk

The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk


NEHS hosts Black History Month presentation

Panel discussion focused on life experiences
Eric Mitchell photo
Speakers at the Feb. 7 Black History Month panel included Ari Johnson, La’Tier Evans, and Veronica Hayes.

February is the month dedicated to Black history and remembering all the incredible African American figures and the brutal past of African American people.

In honor of Black History month, the National English Honors Society here at Stephen Decatur High School hosted a panel of black speakers, all influential people from within the community.

“Our hope is to gain new insight to Black representation in education and further the discussion board and this auditorium,” said Patrick Haines of the SDHS National English Honor Society (NEHS). He said he feels that the subject of Black people in general doesn’t get talked about enough at all places around the world.

This happened on February 7 in the auditorium. The panel included five people: Carlton Cartwright, Snow Hill High School Principal Leland Green, SDHS guidance counselor Veronica Hayes, SDHS assistant princiapl Deshon Purnell, as well as La’Tier Evans, and Ari Johnson.

NEHS members Haines and Deliyah Holland are both SDHS seniors. Deliyah Holland is committed to attending Howard University after graduation.

Hayes is from Snow Hill, but she now works at Stephen Decatur as guidance counselor. Carlton Cartwright attended Salisbury University where he became a part of an African American student organization.

They were all talking about their experiences as being African American students in America.

During this discussion, there were many meaningful and important topics, from what it means to grow up in school as an African American student, to what inspired them to do what they do today.

One of the most important and discussed topics was what it means to stand up for and be a part of the African American community.

“If I say I love myself and my family, and it offends you, then there is something wrong with you,” said Cartwright.

Purnell said karma is a real thing and to watch how you treat somebody – because they might remember how you treated them, and they are going to treat you similar if not the same.

“Be nice to people no matter what because you’ll never know who you will need in the future,” Purnell said.

Purnell was a student at Stephen Decatur. He said he always thought he would go to college as a football player since he played quarterback in high school and that ended up not working out.

Ari Johnson had a unique perspective. She said that she went to school, and she wanted to read books. She thought they needed more Black history books and then found out they were banning them. She believed that they needed to teach African American history in US history in schools.

Ari Johnson said some schools in Florida aren’t being allowed to add an AP African American History course to their course options.

“There wouldn’t be a need for African American history if they’d teach it in U.S. history” she said.

More to Discover