Celebrating Black Role Models with Shayla Holloway

Every February, people across the nation celebrate Black History Month, a time dedicated to recognizing and honoring the many achievements and contributions of the black community. At Enloe, the Black Student Union (BSU) brings students together to showcase the rich history of this community in a stunning, educational annual performance. 

Shayla Holloway is a junior at Enloe and a member of Enloe’s BSU, an organization committed to showcasing black voices: “We uplift black culture by coming together and spreading knowledge and love.” BSU allows her to surround herself with people who love what she loves, and “opens up the opportunity for black voices to be heard.” 

To Holloway, Black History Month is important because “it’s crucial for people of all races to learn about what we’ve been through and what we’ve accomplished, as it’s an important part of American history.” One historical figure that Holloway is inspired by is Medgar Evers, an activist and WWII veteran who played a critical role in the civil rights movement. He spoke out against Jim Crow laws, and protested segregation in schools.

She also talks about Madam C.J Walker, who created a line of hair products and helped other black women embrace their natural hair texture. She was an entrepreneur who created a business empire with her products, and went down in history as “the first black woman millionaire in America.” Her legacy lives on in all the young women she inspired with her success and determination.

Some more black celebrities Holloway mentioned were late actor Sidney Poiter, the first African American actor to win an Academy Award, and rapper J. Cole: “He has continued to talk about the struggles that black America still faces today throughout his entire career.”

Holloway believes that non-black people can uplift black voices by “educating themselves on black history, and the cultural impact that so many important black figures have had on American history.” Black History Month is the perfect time to learn about and celebrate these important people and their stories.

Looking into next year, Holloway wants to continue to participate in Enloe’s BSU, performing in their annual showcase, forums, and events and educating the world about her history.