How South celebrates Black History Month


BSU showcases Black history and culture in the Media Center.

 “Facing the rising sun of our new day begun/ Let us march on till victory is won.” These   lines from “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is known as the Black national anthem and was written by James Weldon Johnson, honors the accomplishments and struggles of Black Americans.  In February, South celebrated Black History Month [BHM]. 

     Black History Month began in 1926 as Negro History Week and was founded by civil rights leader Charles G. Woodsen. Negro History Week, the second week of February, includes the birthdays of both 16th President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass, two of the most influential people in Black History. As time went on, the week grew more important. Eventually in 1986, according to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s website, President Ronald Reagan passed a law that declared February National Black History Month.

     The Black Student Union (BSU) is responsible for celebrating BHM. The BSU, previously known as the African American Awareness Club, is a community for Black students to connect outside of class and organize events. Language Arts teacher Ms. Tyler Barnes and ESL teacher Ms. Jennifer Jackson-Escogido advise the club.

      BSU President Ava Edwards (‘24) said, “We create this safe space that our students can have.” 

         Ms. Jackson said the BSU “is a way to unify and uplift Black students in the school and make them more seen. [It] also makes them more integrated into the school community.” 

     Ms. Barnes agreed. “Because our school does not offer African American Studies as an elective, the BSU is a way for us to connect [students] to that.”

     BSU provides students the opportunity to be engaged with their culture on a deeper level. “We [BSU] also host field trips to museums and HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] to expose our students to colleges and the richness of their culture,” Saraiah Hoover (‘25) said. “Our main goal is to highlight and expose our students to Black excellence and to provide them safe space to find community.”      

     This year’s display and celebration of BHM was multifaceted, with four different themed weeks where different information about Black athletes and entertainers, actors and civil rights activists was showcased. 

     Hoover said, “We’ve [BSU] created various displays throughout the school, we participate[d] in read-ins, we host[ed] a movie night for our club members and we participate[d] in panels for BHM.”

     In March, for the first time, the BSUs of both South and North will take a field trip to Washington D.C. to see the African American Museum of History and Culture. 

     “[The Museum is] still relatively new,” Ms. Barnes said. “So it’s a culmination of all the hard work we’ve been doing for Black History Month to see some of the artifacts of the things we’ve been researching and we’ll have one display for the school.”