Q & A with Cece Haynesworth about Black History Month


By Tandis Shoushtary

To celebrate Black History Month at Tam, Senior Cece Haynesworth created a wall of #mylifematters posters, honoring the African American students at Tam. 


Q: What inspired you to start this project?

A: There is nothing going on for black history month at Tam, which is really frustrating. I wanted to do something to honor all the kids– like last year we put up a few posters about African American historians and leaders. So this year, I wanted to take that a bit further, and we doubled the amount of posters and also introduced the #mylifematters wall… where each black student at Tam is spotlighted.


Q: Why do you think this is important?

A: I just wanted to do more. I wanted to have a section at Tam, a full appreciation wall for African American culture and the Black Lives Matter movement, and the best way to do that is to honor the few black kids that are here. I think that’s important, because we are so underappreciated, and it shows… a lot of these kids are made to feel like they don’t matter in our [predominantly white] community, and so I am always more than willing to give appreciation where it is deserved.


Q: How has our community responded to the wall?

A: There has been some Backlash. I’ve had [white] kids come up to me and ask why I am doing this, why their pictures aren’t up as well…I have even had a teacher express confusion of the purpose of the project. But I can say this for the African American kids: there is higher confidence, now that it has been up a few weeks… when people stop and look at the wall kids get really excited… it sounds silly but we take pride in this small act of recognition and appreciation.


Q: How long will the wall be up?

A: I would love to keep it up forever…but realistically we have to take them down at some point. I’ve been thinking about using all the posters to make a scrapbook or something so we can preserve them. I  want to get the African American kids motivated to continue doing stuff like this  next year.. I’m really grateful that we have a Voices of Color club now, because it is making us a stronger community as a whole… and giving black students a platform to voice their struggles.