A Week of Excellence


Throughout the month of February, Black History Month has become the center of attention for about a decade now. The sole purpose of this entire month is to celebrate, educate, and inform Americans on how pivotal African American history, people, and culture has shaped our country since the beginning of time. Apopka’s Minority Leader Scholars (MLS), took the initiative to set up a Black Excellence spirit week to show the impact that minorities have on our AHS campus day in and day out. While also hoping to educate some students and teachers that may not know much about African American history. Of course, we know the most talked about figures in Black Excellence such as  Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Jackie Robinson, and Muhammad Ali. So what about the others and why was this Black Excellence week so important this year? The Blue and White heard from the President of MLS Johnny Simmons, and the Head Sponsor of the club Marcia Owens reflecting on how this Black Excellence week was so important to the AHS campus.

To start off, we hear from the President of MLS, Johnny Simmons. Reflecting on his biggest take away and reflection of the 2021 Black Excellence Week on our campus. He said, “This is not a race it is a marathon, which simply means each day we see our history changes. Tuesday, the first person of color in a particular field made me realize that we can accomplish anything we set our mind to.” Throughout the week MLS had different themes set up for each day of the week, where students could dress up and participate in expressing their black excellence. Here were the different themes for each day: Monday was Black Iconic Day, Tuesday was The first Person of Color (POC) in the field, Wednesday was an Activist, Thursday was I Have A Dream and finally Friday was Darter Excellence Day. As you can see the week was filled with many activities for the student body to participate in but Johnny feels that there is definitely still room for improvement for next year. Johnny explained, “I would say we should start earlier because doing black history into one week is hard. So next year we plan to have different things throughout the month of February to enhance our knowledge, which will give scholars any opportunity to become more aware of what Black Excellence really means.”

Finishing off, we hear from the head sponsor of MLS, Ms. Owens on her perspective of the 2021 Black Excellence week at AHS. She said, “Personally I feel that we are more than just a Black Excellence week at our school do not get me wrong though, I am very proud of our scholars for planning this week out thoroughly and also making the talent show available on a virtual platform because of COVID restrictions.” There are many activities that MLS takes part in throughout the year such as food drives, toiletry drives, cereal drives, and are in the process of helping at the local farm and also completing a shoe drive for the less fortunate in our community. The group does so many things in our community that is not always publicized but the fact that they are willing to always get involved speaks volumes on all of the kids’ characters as a part of the group. Closing Ms. Owens explains, “Although we participate in many activities, I feel that this week gave our club a voice on our campus. Sharing Black Excellence with the student body that our group members strive for each and everyday while at Apopka High School.”