Black History Month
By: Lynn Reynolds
Image from: Biography.com
Celebrated in the months of February and October, Black History Month is all about acknowledging and honoring the achievements of Americans who have an African ancestry. This celebration was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson and the ASALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History), and it became recognized as a month long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincolns’ on the 12th and Frederick Douglass’ on the 14th.
At the time, when Black History Month began, African-Americans were largely left out of history. Schools did not incorporate any colored individuals when educating on important events or discoveries in American History. The purpose of Black History Month is to bring attention to influential African-American figures that have slipped through the cracks of history. It was dedicated to teaching future generations that Caucasian people weren’t the only ones to make a difference. This annual celebration was intended to bring these influential Americans back into the light and honor their achievements, sacrifices, and wisdom. Woodson wanted to show Americans of all races that there are other important figures in history that were not just white. This promoted racial representation and highlighted the many achievements of people of color.
Nowadays, Black History Month serves to remind us of our ancestors and current African-American leaders. Our school textbooks now include a more racially diverse list of influential figures. Barack Obama, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Wilma Rudolph, Rosa Parks, and more; these are the names that should be most familiar to you from history class. Furthermore, You now hear about slavery, the American Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement and other major events in a new light. However, there are some important historical figures that are still missing from our history classes. Where are the engineers like Walt Braithwaite, Robert R. Taylor, and Mary Jackson? What about military leaders like Maj. Martin Robison Delany, Harriet M. Waddy, and Col. Adele E. Hodges?
There is more to Black History than the events we tend to hear the most about in class. It’s more than the stories of just a few select people. Black History Month is not just about honoring historical figures; it also honors our family members as well. Listen to their stories because the most important people in your history are right there. Ignore them and their achievements will slip through the cracks to be forgotten. Celebrate your history, learn from it, and be proud.
This year’s theme: African Americans in Times of War marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI and honors the roles of African-Americans in warfare. Try asking around or researching your ancestors this month for any war heroes in your line; it might just surprise you.
Club Spotlight: History Club
Do you like history? Do you want to learn more about the weirdest and coolest things throughout the time periods? Have you won a game of risk? Then History Club is for you! History Club is a student-driven club that meets every Wednesday in Mr. Malone’s class, directly after school. The club attends a yearly History Day in Nashville, and it hosts fundraising events like the Retro Gaming Tournament. There are no requirements or fees to join the club. History Club was founded by students and will always work towards the interest of students. All topics of discussion are picked by the members. Of course, if you want to play an occasional game of Risk, no one’s objecting. . .
Sponsor: Mr. Malone
President: Josh Gramlick
Vice President: Kenny Baseck
Secretary/Treasurer: Sam Beals
Mr. Tony Malone, Club Sponsor
What’s the history club about?
Mr. Malone: The students coming in and beginning to talk and study their favorite things in history. Students present a topic they’re passionate about so that everybody gets to share their interests. Sometimes we get off topic and play a game of risk. Occasionally, we play a sort of Jeopardy of history. History club is welcome to everybody. Even if they don’t come every time they can always stop by and listen.
What were your plans for the club when you started it?
Mr. Malone: It started with the students, they wanted it. It’s student-driven, and not like a history class.
How does it make students better historians?
Mr. Malone: They get to share what they’re passionate about. History classes only touch the surface and don’t cover everything. It lets them broaden their minds on things that they don’t learn in class.
When was the history club founded?
Mr. Malone: 2012
What periods do you cover?
Mr. Malone: Whatever the students want to cover- ancient times to recent history; conflicts, social history, natural disasters. We’ve even covered a countess who liked to bathe in blood, believing it would make her more youthful.
How many members do you have this year?
Mr. Malone: A dozen constant members. We start out with a lot at the beginning, but senioritis and other commitments get in the way.
Kenny Baseck, Club Vice President
Josh Gramlick, Club President
Sam Beals, Club Secretary/ Treasurer
What's history club to you?
Kenny: A place where anyone who has any sort of appreciation for history can meet up. It doesn't matter if you're an expert or barely know when our country was founded, you can be part of this group.
Josh: History club is an embodiment of past and recent history.
Sam:A bunch of cool people talking about something they like
What's your favorite part of history club?
Kenny: The closeness of the members. The club isn't very big, so we all know each other and everyone has a voice.
Josh: Hanging out with all my friends.
Sam: Having fun fun talking about different aspects of history
What's your favorite time in history?
Kenny: 20th century America. I’m also pretty good in Roman history.
Josh: 1970s-1980s music history.
Sam: American Revolutionary War
Why should students join history club?
Kenny: This club is one of the few really academic-based clubs. Anyone can join and learn from the other members. Everyone can come together and share a pool of information with each other.
Josh: If you gain enjoyment from history, then you should join. It’s a place people can be themselves. We have a lot of really loud, really intense historical debates.
Sam: If they like history and they like not taking themselves too seriously
The Retro Gaming Tournament was a huge success, and plans are already being made for another one next year! The systems included in the tournament are listed below.
Hamilton: The Reinvention of The American Story
By Kat Franklin
We’ve all heard of Hamilton, right? Even if you haven’t listened to it, you’ve heard someone singing the songs or complaining about the price of tickets. When Hamilton hit Broadway in 2015 it exploded into the thespian world, bringing history to life with a hip-hop soundtrack and diverse casting. The Great American Story was pretty much dead with the younger generation, nothing more than a unit in their U.S. History class and a test they had to pass. Yet, for the first year after Hamilton’s debut, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing a phrase or two from the soundtrack, many of them featuring lines from the Declaration Of Independence or accounts of historical events.
Hamilton tells the story of young revolutionary Alexander Hamilton. The musical covers his life in its entirety, but it focuses mainly on his adult years in America. The musical consists of two acts: act one taking place before the revolutionary war and act two taking place after the war. The first displays a brief account of his childhood and his coming to America, followed by his part in the events leading up to the war and the war itself. This includes meeting his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler, and learning he was going to be a father. The second act describes the making of our nation and his role in the politics of it, including his affair and the death of Hamilton and of his son. The story of Alexander Hamilton is a fascinating one, although it was relatively unknown to most Americans before the musical.
When Hamilton first came out it was met with shock from many lifelong theater goers. Hamilton was the first hip-hop driven soundtrack to grace the stages of Broadway and that upset some people. They were used to more traditional numbers, songs with a Phantom Of The Opera-esque feel, not the fast-paced rap music that’s quickly leading the music industry. Nevertheless, Broadway knew that if it couldn’t keep up with culture, it would be left behind.
Some others were offended by the casting of the musical. Hamilton features hispanic and african-american actors as well as caucasian ones. The actors who play George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Angelica Schuyler, Thomas Jefferson, John Laurens, and Aaron Burr are all african-american or hispanic. While not historically accurate, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator, said he wanted the casting of the musical to reflect the America of today: a nation of many ethnicities and ways of life. No matter how many complaints he gets, Miranda resolved to keep the cast of Hamilton diverse.
The story of our nation is an important one. Often ignored or altogether discredited, we treat our history as useless or irrelevant. We forget the monarchies and dictatorships that necessitated our country’s birth. We disregard the tumultuous fight that led to our current rights and freedom. We fail to consider how far we’ve come and our reigning title as the world’s first modern democracy. Every great nation has an end and a beginning, and our beginning will always be important. Hamilton reminds us that history isn’t dead.
Our nation struggles with a major issue of Alexander Hamilton’s time: immigration. An immigrant himself, Hamilton fought his way into the history books. Politically, he was an influential man and an incredible writer and speaker. He would have been an obvious candidate for president if not for the natural-born citizen clause, a clause stating that anyone running for president must meet the requirements for citizenship at birth. He or she must have been born on U.S. soil or have had a parent with U.S. citizenship. Since Hamilton had neither, he was never eligible to be more than the Secretary of the Treasury.
In the musical, when he first arrives in America, he likens himself to the country as being “young, scrappy, and hungry.” Then, the nation was full of immigrants who had moved there for a better life. Now, people move here not just for a better life, but to escape the wars, terrorism, and corruption that plague them in their countries of origin. Many of our natural-born citizens would rather have them stay in their own countries, not realizing that immigrants are what make our country so great. They bring new ideas, fresh perspectives, and innovations that have our shaped history. Some American immigrants you might recognize from the label on your jeans (Levi Strauss) or a famous name in music (Bob Marley). If you’ve ever spent hours on Youtube, you have two more immigrants to thank: Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, the co-founders of Youtube. Of course, we never could have ended World War II as quickly without the help of German immigrant, Albert Einstein.
RHS History teacher, Mr. Martinez, stated, “It takes a musical like Hamilton to remind us of our nation’s character.” Hamilton tells you just that- immigrants are not to be underestimated. George Washington once described our nation as: “Citizens by birth or choice of a common country.” So, while it’s understandable to frown on illegal immigration, it’s uneducated to believe that we can’t be benefited by the flow of new voices and faces. Our country often provides a better life for people, one where they can flourish. Thomas Jefferson said our immigrants were “born in other countries, yet believing [they] could be happy in this.”
Hamilton reinvents history, making it once again relevant for the youth. It shows the resilience and strength of American immigrants, and it brings Broadway into the future with hip-hop and diversity. If you asked a kid their favorite subject pre-2015, history would be a rare answer. Now, more teens are excited to learn about their nation’s founders. Hamilton made a bunch of old dead white guys into singing, rapping icons that a kid from any background can relate with. Finally, we’ve had someone step up to make history cool again.
The Greatest Showman Really Is The Greatest Show
By Kat Franklin
*This review contains spoilers. Read at your own discretion!
Red Dahlia- Part 4
By Kat Franklin and Lynn Flaugh-Reynolds
The noises of the parade died down outside the Arboretum, the dull roar fading into relative quiet. It had been three hours since Lakota had taken his test, and Paloá thought she might go crazy if they had to wait any longer for the results. All she wanted was for Miss Fuar to read off Lakota’s name so she could watch him in the parade and make sure he got a good family.
A Groundhog’s Foreshadowing
By Siera Millard
Picture by Groundhog 2018
Think it’s been cold lately? Well say hello to six more weeks of winter! This Groundhog’s Day, Punxsutawney Phil awoke from hibernation and saw his prophetic shadow. This winter has already been one of frigid temps, and the people of the southeast are not happy with Punxsutawney’s prediction; however, there is no shadow of a doubt with this groundhog.
On the second day of February of each year a spotlight is put on groundhogs across the nation. The tradition began in Europe as Candlemas and was brought to the Americas in the 1700s. Since then it has evolved and spread to other areas of the world. Although Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous, and sometimes infamous, there are multiple messengers. There is the Staten Island Chuck, who is considered one of Punxsutawney’s rivals. Unfortunately for Phil, Chuck has a 70% accuracy rate compared with Punxsutawney’s 40%.
“Groundhog Day.” Spacer, 2018, www.wincalendar.com/Groundhog-day.
History.com Staff. “Groundhog Day: History and Facts.” History.com, A&E Televisión
Networks, 2 Feb. 2012, www.history.com/news/groundhog-day-history-and-facts.
The Sadie Hawkins Winter Formal Dance was held on Friday, February 2nd and was the first winter dance that Rossview has hosted since 2010. The dance was held after the basketball game, played at home against Clarksville High School. Walking into the cafeteria, dance-goers could enjoy the gothic lighting, shimmery tapestries, and colored balloons that set the mood for the rest of the night. Students had the opportunity to dance, chat with friends, and take pictures. The dance posed as a fundraiser for a new electronic sign that will be installed in front of Rossview to deliver information to the school. Attending the dance was not only a great chance to have a great time dancing the night away, but also helped raise money for our school.
The Sadies Hawkins Dance is similar to any other semi-formal that Rossview has hosted, but with an interesting twist: the girls ask the guys to be their dates, instead of vice versa. The Sadies Hawkins Dance is based on a comic strip, Li’l Abner, dating all the way back to 1937. In the comic strip, unmarried women pursue the men they want to marry. Today, this same concept has been translated into dancing.
The dance was a huge success, and it will hopefully become an annual school tradition.
How to Plan a Date with Yourself: A Guide for Singles
Origins of Valentine’s Day
By: Rebecca Waddle
The origins of Valentine’s Day vary, but the tales consistently report that is was started by a man named Valentine (or a variation of that name). There is a lot of mystery surrounding the origins of the day of love, which is now celebrated around the world. Multiple legends state that “Valentine” belonged to different religious groups, which further shows how much a story can differ from source to source. However, most of what we know about our modern Valentine holiday is based on Roman Catholic beliefs and European Pagan legends.
Roman Catholic accounts indicate that the tradition of Valentine’s Day began sometime around 300 A.D. The story mainly focuses on the Feast of Lupercalia, a Roman holiday where men were said to sacrifice animals and playfully smack women during a race to encourage fertility, ending the celebration with a great feast, shared among neighbors. This Roman holiday was used to promote strong family ties and to participate in a “spring cleansing”. However, in later years, Pope Gelasius I noted how frivolous the ritual was. He decided to change the holiday to a more saintly celebration, creating “Valentine’s Day” to be celebrated on February 14th.
While some believe Valentine’s Day to have Catholic origins, there is still controversy over the true foundation. In another Christian story, St. Valentine was a Catholic priest who, in 270 A.D., angered the Roman Emperor, Claudius II, because he disobeyed the law. At the time, the emperor prohibited marriage for young men because he wanted them to focus on their military obligations, not finding love. According to the story, St. Valentine, a romantic at heart, continued performing marriage ceremonies in secret. Sadly, St. Valentine was apprehended by Roman soldiers and executed. Other accounts tell the tale of how St. Valentine fell in love with the daughter of the man who had jailed him. Before his execution, Valentine sent her a letter, which was signed with the now-famous line: “from your Valentine.” Further, still more stories tell about how St. Valentine, focused more on Christian love rather than passionate love, was eventually martyred because he refused to renounce his religion.
Some might ask: how did this story grow to other countries and the United States? Well, literary geniuses, such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Shakespeare, romanticized the holiday in their stories and plays. Following these references, handmade notes and letters were traded in Europe, which created the tradition that the holiday itself was a time for couples celebrate their relationship. The cards that were shared were typically made of lace, ribbons, and feature cupids and hearts. Once common in England, the tradition began to spread to the United States, including the American colonies. From there, the rest is history!
Currently, Valentine's Day is the 2nd most celebrated holiday in the world, with Christmas being the first. The holiday has created big-business for many companies because of how much money is spent on loved ones: “According to the Greeting Card Association, 25% of all cards sent each year are valentines.” (Infoplease.com). Some have speculated that Valentine’s Day has only remained such a popular holiday because of the money it brings to companies worldwide. Yet, some sociologists have said the holiday is harmful to mental health and that it can lower self-esteem. However, giving it up altogether would put many businesses out of business and take away a day for couples to spend celebrating each other.
It is common to send Valentine cards to friends, family, and romantic partners of every age, regardless of gender or social class. Join in on the fun and have a great Valentine’s day!!