Display at Putnam Vocational Academy celebrates Black History Month

Exhibit designed to get students interested in their cultural roots.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Black History Month became an important part of the day for students at Putnam Vocational Technical Academy in Springfield. Students would stop, admire the images and interpret how the African-American icons portrayed in the exhibit affected young African-Americans eager to learn about their culture through its history.

For Putnam Academy senior Jay Shun Pinckney, he uses Black History Month to broaden his perspective. “I’ve learned more about my roots and my culture,” he told 22News. “Before, I was ignorant because I thought I was a normal black boy. But as I got older and wiser, I’ve always wanted to know of my roots, because I know it goes down deep.”

Many of the modern forms conveyed in the school’s Black History Month exhibit are designed to challenge the imagination of students, to make them inquire further beyond the lessons they’ve already learned.

DaShawn Williams says that he’s anxious for insight about the plight of his ancestors. “To know how hard it was back then. The hardships they had to go through, because of the color of your skin, stuff like that.”

The first observance of Black History Month took place back in 1915 in the city of Chicago.