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Reflection on Resilience

Reflection on Resilience

Student Thoughts on Black History Month 

By Jessi Vietz 

As we look to the past to honor Black heritage and the future to appreciate cultural pride this month, we should not only pause and recognize the years of hardship but also each take part in supporting and celebrating the vastness of Black culture today. 

The following is a collection of statements from Walla Walla University students who chose to reflect and honor Black History Month. “To me it’s the appreciation of another culture different from my own, something anyone can appreciate and learn about,” stated Mckenzie Richardson, freshman music major. [1] 

Photo of Mckenzie Richardson.

Another student, Isabella Robles, a junior nursing major, shared a more personal connection to Black History Month. “I think in the last few years with all of the events that have happened in the world such as the riots and awareness of what happened to George Floyd, my eyes have been opened to how scary it can be to be a Black person in this society. My boyfriend is Black, my kids will be Black, and I am afraid for them. Black History Month has made me more politically aware; it honors not only everything that Black people have been through but their resilience and ability to overcome anything as well.” [2] 

Photo of Isabella Robles.

Some students hold deep gratitude for how Black ancestry has impacted their lives, “It makes me proud of myself and reflects off people in the past, it shows how I’m able to be the person I am today,” poetically said Jordan Green-Wallace, freshman business marketing major. [3] The students also love to celebrate the achievements of their peers during this time. “One of my favorite parts of Black History Month is the events, such as the Black History Month vespers, that highlight the talents of my friends,” stated Annaliese Grellmann, junior humanities major and legal studies minor. [4] 

Photo of Jordan Green-Wallace.

Another student, Molly Moore, senior education major, enjoyed seeing a more global perspective of Black History Month. “Black History Month is meaningful to me because I get the chance to see different cultures and their traditions in the media more. I also think it is important to learn about the history of the civil rights movement and the Black heroes that shaped the world today,” Moore reflected. [5] 

Photo of Molly Moore.

Evan Pierce, freshman business major, honored the educative side of Black History Month and how it is “meaningful to me because it creates an opportunity to educate people further on an important topic and create more meaningful support for the people around us.” [6] 

See Also

Photo of Evan Pierce.

As many people take Black History Month to solely reflect on the past, it is crucial to look to the present and future as well. Jaxsen Bjelland, freshman nursing major, shared his perspective on this special month, noting how “it’s meaningful to me because I feel like it’s a way to celebrate Black life. I also feel like it’s a way to acknowledge the beauty of Black culture.” [7] 

Photo of Jaxsen Bjelland.

The true beauty of Black History Month is that it provides a framework for what celebrating Black culture should look like all year long.  


  1. Meeting with Mckenzie Richardson, 2/17/22. 
  1. Meeting with Isabella Robles, 2/17/22. 
  1. Meeting with Jordan Green-Wallace, 2/17/22. 
  1. Meeting with Annaliese Grellmann, 2/17/22. 
  1. Meeting with Molly Moore, 2/17/22. 
  1. Meeting with Evan Pierce, 2/17/22. 
  1. Meeting with Jaxsen Bjelland, 2/17/22. 
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