(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Students at Central High School are celebrating Black History Month in the art program showcasing works inspired by black figures throughout history.
"I have them do it every year," Jill Kirkendoll, art teacher said. "It's just providing them the opportunity to research important African American figures and events and history."
Students said they took the lesson as an opportunity to learn more about black history to make their artwork more impactful.
"We actually did some research on it and what we wanted to represent," Anthony Grumblatt, a student said.
"I got to look into other parts of history that I didn’t know about." Katy Young, a student said.
Each student presented their own interpretation of what black history means to them, creating pieces that capture many of the thoughts and feelings that come with the subject.
Young said she wanted her piece to make a bold statement, and reflect the strong characteristics of African American people who had to live with racial injustice and prejudices.
"People were trying to make themselves known," she said. "They needed to rise up and change things because what was happening just wasn’t right."
Students not only immersed themselves in black history, they also became aware of the challenges people of color still face today.
"Things that we thought were dead are still around and they’re still affecting people," Kaylin Crum, a student said. "A lot of the things on my art piece are inspired by issues facing black people today."
The students said it's important to be aware.
"People go through certain struggles that we don’t understand," Kaitlynn McIntosh, a student said.