By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Last month, as Black History Month drew to a close, Shrewsbury High School found a special way to mark the occasion.
The Black History Committee created a special installation of a periodic table recognizing the contributions to society by 90 notable and historical Black artists, scientists, authors, actors, activists, athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs and politicians.
Science teacher Jill Carter was inspired, she said, when she saw a TikTok presentation of a similar project in Lakeland, Fla.
“After a little bit of investigating, that teacher on TikTok was very kind to share the template out for free and we took it and played around with it to make it work or us,” Carter explained.
English teacher Kelly Lawlor, who is the faculty advisor for the Black History Committee, said that the table itself was divided and color coded by category.
“There are a lot of famous firsts. Those people are highlighted from Black history and people who broke the color barrier in their fields,” Lawlor added.
Included are Vice-President Kamala Harris and Amanda Gorman, the young poet-laureate who wrote and delivered the stirring presidential inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb” on Jan. 20.
Both Carter and Lawlor expressed that they learned so much about people they had never heard of before.
“It felt really good as teachers to be doing something outside our classroom bubble in this crazy COVID-19 time and students were walking by and commenting on it. It was really nice to be out there interacting with students and other teachers and learning new things as we put it up,” Carter reflected.
“We are so excited and everyone at Shrewsbury High School, it seems, are getting on board to support Black History Month,” Lawlor said.
The mission of the Black History Committee is “to broaden the world view of the student body at Shrewsbury High School through the exploration and analysis of Black history, a celebration of Black culture, and social activism for racial justice. We seek to recognize the contributions of African Americans to the history of the United States, and to remind students that Black history is not just about race–it is about who we are as a nation, where we have come from, and where we are going.”
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