Lawton High students celebrate Black History Month

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)-A trip down memory lane that's the goal of Lawton High teacher Paula Bowen's black history class.

This month, students are not only celebrating the achievements made by African Americans but, also recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history.

Brendyn Sellers is one student who said the class hits home for him.

"We were kings and queen and we were like scholars," said Brendyn Sellers. "We were more than what regular history makes us out to be."

In honor of black history month students are watching the movie Roots a saga of African-American life, slavery, and the Civil war.

They are also learning about rarely addressed topics in black history like---the origin of peanuts and peanut butter.

"Peanuts came from South American from the Atlantic slave trade to the Americas," said Mykela Drew, student. "And they were considered poor man's food."

"When black people couldn't have the food they needed, for instance, they would get pig intestines, that is chitlins come from, or they get peanuts," said Mckinnzie Colston, student. "And they would eat off that because they didn't have the amount of food that they needed.

The history class was created and approved for the 2016-2017 school year. This is the first time LPS has had a black history class.

LPS teacher Paula Bowen said she created the class to give students a sense of direction and clarity on the beginning of black history.
  
"It didn't start in 1619," she said. "Our history is much older than that so, I wanted the kids to understand that and have a sense of pride about who they are. If you don't know who you are and where you come from you don't know where you are going."

Which is exactly what Brendyn said the class has been for him.

"By me taking this class, I'm learning about my history and my culture and it's an eye-opener," he said. "I realized there's so much that my people have done it's empowering to realize that."

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