February 16, 2023
It was Beachwood vs. Hawken, but both basketball teams put their rivalries aside to honor Black History Month for the Beachwood Schools’ third annual MAC Scholars Black History Recognition Night on February 10.
The program spanned three games–the boys junior varsity, girls varsity, and boys varsity–at Beachwood High School. The two schools wore coordinating “Black History is American History” t-shirts and gave poignant remarks honoring the contributions of African Americans and recognizing their sacrifices.
“While we attend different schools and are in different communities,” said Beachwood MAC Scholars advisor Gabrielle Greer-Jones, “we can continue to be the change we need to keep our history going.”
To open the games, Beachwood and Hawken students sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing”–the Black National Anthem–prior to the National Anthem. Beachwood MAC Scholars president Kaylee Patterson, a senior, presented gifts to members of the Hawken School’s Black Student Union to show appreciation for the collaboration.
“Thank you to the Hawken community and coaches for their support of this event,” said Ryan Peters, Director of Athletics at Beachwood Schools. “This is a tradition that we hope will continue for many years to come.”
“I am proud to be here to represent the Hawken Athletics Department to collaborate with our partners in Beachwood and celebrate Black History Month,” said Lauren Butler, Associate Director of Athletics at the Hawken School. “It is important that during this month and every day of the year that we take intentional time to honor what makes each person valuable to the community and hear each and every voice.”
Throughout the evening, athletes and members of the Beachwood MAC Scholars and Hawken Black Student Union spoke powerfully and candidly about what Black history means to them.
“Black history is a source of pride, inspiration, and motivation that reminds us of the power of the human spirit and potential we all have to make a difference,” said Beachwood eighth-grader Maverick Morris.
“Black history is American history,” said Beachwood girls varsity basketball player Taylor Blackwell. “We hope that celebrations like tonight's can become the norm and reinforce the belief that Black excellence should be celebrated not just for one month, but rather all year long.”