Northside Safety NET interns reflect on Black History Month

The Northside Safety NET interns posing with Representative Ilhan Omar.

Northside Safety NET interns took time this February to consider what being a Black history maker means to them and to create a collage of influential Black history makers. Northside Safety NET is an annual internship program that integrates North Minneapolis youth into local efforts to address environmental justice issues.

Micah Beasley

Being a Black history maker means being able to come out on top even when you started at the bottom. Being able to come back from a long set back. Being able to start something. Being able to be a leader and get people to follow you. Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, and Muhammad Ali all did these things to become Black leaders.

My mother inspires me to keep moving on a positive path and follow the example of Black history makers before me. I want her to be proud of me when I work to better my community, and it feels good to know that I’m changing the world a little bit each day.

Paris Beasley

Being a Black history maker means finding empowerment despite injustice. African Americans were treated poorly and told they were inferior to other races but worked together to push for justice. This is a testament to their will, their character, their aspirations, and where they came from. Blacks are descended from a beautiful lineage in the roots of Africa. Harlem, jazz, dancing, art, Afro hairstyles, religion, clothing, leadership, love, our talent, our skin, and most of all, our culture makes us who we are and that is what we should cherish the most.

Chairish Byas

To be a Black history maker means to do things for racial justice and equality for Black people. It means to constantly protest the injustices Black people actively face today.

Evette Eaton

Being a Black history maker means being someone who had an impact on the Black community as a Black person. A Black history maker takes action to get through a barrier and inspires others to have the courage to work towards change.

Gregory Wheeler

Being Black and making history isn’t just an achievement, it’s proof of how resilient you are. As a Black American you are held to a higher standard but judged at a lower one. This is where resilience comes into play: Many Black leaders and history makers were beaten, mocked, or just ignored. Some of the pioneers that paved the way for the current day Black history makers are Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Muhammad Ali. All of these Black history makers showed us how to be resilient and not give up until we see change. Black history makers are all around and are everyday people.

Reflections edited by Sebastian Wells.