By Brynn Weisholtz ’20
On February 14, the Black Student Union (BSU) held the annual all-school Black History Month assembly. Bringing both the students and the faculty together in Hauser Auditorium, the school celebrated the achievements and honored the hardships of black people in the past and acknowledged the present day struggles of the black community. This was the second year this assembly was run by the Black Student Union, which is headed by the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Department, Dr. Diana Artis.
Roughly 20 high school students took part in the assembly in both performance and organization. “We were all proud to show the school what black history means to us,” said Noelle Mullins (IV).
The assembly showcased various student performances such as singing, reciting poetry, performing spoken word, and showing prerecorded videos. Highlights included Glory by Macklemore sung by Jared Tiggs (VI) and Iman Khan (VI), the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou performed by a group of students, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron recited by Channing Russell (VI), Tyler Williams (VI), and Obi Nnaeto (VI), and a moving letter by Jordan Taylor (VI) to her adopted cousins, encouraging them to stay strong in the face of oppression.
Each BSU member contributed to this assembly and showed why they believe it was important to hold. Speaking about the message of the gathering, Gabrielle Billington (IV) said, “It is important for all people to understand the significance of recognizing the black community no matter what race they are. There is so much history that has shaped this community to be what it is today.”
While only thirty minutes long, the assembly had quite an impact on the audience. It evoked the realization that, as Brian Benson (V) said, “black history is not explored enough in the average history class, and in general, people need to learn more about the topic.” Sydney Tindall (IV) said of the experience, “This assembly showed the truths of black history through the efforts of others and expressed the injustices that have been seen throughout history.”