Black History Month activities planned around school

These past few weeks we’ve been in the midst of February, which means it is Black History Month. A time for appreciation and remembrance of the many great Black figures and celebrate the cultures and history together.

To celebrate this occasion at University High School, we chose to put the spotlight on our own Black Student Union, or BSU for short. The BSU is exactly as it sounds, a group of students working together to bring diversity and cultural awareness to the school, as well as giving a voice to our ethnic minority groups here in school. “It’s not just Black students,” says Nikeya Jones ‘23, who spoke to us about the Black Student Union and what it’s all about, “it’s actually diverse, we’re always recruiting for more people of different cultures.” So everyone is welcome to join, even if you’re just there to support.

So what has the BSU done in the past to celebrate diversity in our school community? While COVID-19 has made it difficult for the BSU to make events for the school community for obvious reasons, they have been well known for their Culture Night. Culture Night is a big celebration of the diversity we have at our school for all of us to celebrate. Jones adds “We want to bring a performance, speakers, and different foods for everyone to enjoy.” Culture Night will be held soon on March 3. You may also have previously noticed the different fliers around the school referring to t-shirts that can be worn all of Black History Month. As of now, they have been canceled due to low sales so remember to support the BSU and other student-led activities and events. This was one of the many additions the BSU wants to continue to push for students of UHSSE. “We want to bring in full dress-down days,” and are in the process of talking about it with the school staff.

BSU has also created a bulletin board on the third-floor hallway filled with Black American figures they feel are often overlooked or under-appreciated. The BSU is also working with Mr. Neal, the acting assistant principal here at UHSSE) to continue the Black History Month Speaker Series, which brings successful Black professionals to UHSSE to speak with students and share their experiences. Speakers from previous years have included attorneys, engineers, and local entrepreneurs.

The Black Student Union has many different ideas on what to do for the student body for February and the rest of the year and so on. “It’s important that we’re thinking about Black history year round and not just during February, but it’s also important that we take this month to celebrate the resilience and accomplishments of Black Americans, as well as acknowledge the hardships they’ve endured,” said history teacher and BSU adviser Joe Miller. “I hope that our Black students feel like this school is a place where their culture is welcomed and celebrated, and hopefully BSU can be a part of making that happen.” The BSU is always recruiting new students and even if you want to just watch, you can join them in Mr. Miller’s room every Thursday during activity block in Room 302.