SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - While the Black Heritage Flag flies at Springfield City Hall during the month of February, students will study black history in area schools.
At the flag raising ceremony in Springfield on Friday morning, Ayanna Crawford told 22News that the lessons she learned about African American leaders has affected her life.
"That really inspired me to be very creative in my thinking and thinking out of the box with that information. At that time, in the early '90s, I was able to really think about that and employ that in my own life," Crawford said,
Mabel Sharif recalls learning about black history in her segregated Alabama classroom more than fifty years ago.
"Without knowing history, they don't know where they're going. But if they know their history, I think It'll instill some pride," Sharif said.
98 year-old civil rights pioneer Ruth Loving has attended all 27 annual Black Heritage Flag raisings in Springfield. She spoke of the recurring theme of many black history lessons taught in Springfield schools.
"African men have always been strong. The bones in their faces are strong. Their arms are strong, they had to be, to go through some of the years they're gone through," Loving said.
The Black History Month observance will include numerous classroom programs and community events throughout western Massachusetts.