BSU preps for African Heritage assembly


Photo courtesy of Doria Wheeler

The Black Student Union members (starting from left) Lwam Yebio, Liana Wilkinson, Nnayelu Oranuba (President), Yerim Kone (Vice President), Jaydan Fogo and Paula Tinong. The members attended the New Student cookout to recruit incoming freshman.

During the school year, we have three assemblies dedicated to both promoting the minorities in our school and showcasing their many different heritages and backgrounds. One of the clubs that hold the position of having an assembly is the Black Student Union (BSU).

“The Black Student Union strives to educate fellow students about black culture. We hope to share aspects of various cultures that often are overlooked and go beyond initial stereotypes, so everyone feels proud of their background,” senior Khadydia Diouf said.

The club meets every other Monday, holding open discussions of several topics that allow people to express themselves freely in a safe environment without judgment. Some of the many topics that have already been discussed include problematic Halloween costumes, cultural appropriation, and the Amber Guyger case. Holding these open discussions has led to an increasing amount of members. This year the club plans on holding many fun events and club meetings, such as monthly movie nights, a spring trip, college visits to some historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Six Flags. The most anticipated event that the club prepares for, however, is the African American assembly.

“The African American assembly is our biggest event of the year, as we get to truly showcase who we are and the broad spectrum of black cultures that are represented at WJ. It’s filled with several different talent acts, like singing, cultural dancing, a fashion show, poems and a step show,” senior Nna Oranuba said.

The African American assembly is held in the month of February dedicated to Black History Month. In the months before Black History Month, the club prepares by setting a theme, figuring out the acts (poems, cultural dances, a fashion show and the step team’s special appearance) that will most likely be shown during the short span of 28 minutes.
The club also sets dates and times for the practices. Themes throughout the year have consisted of transcending boundaries that display both historical figures and contemporary figures. The satisfaction and excitement over the years about the assembly has only grown, even with the schedule changing and drastically shortened time.
Auditions for the assembly will begin on Dec. 6 and are open for the following acts: Poems, singing, dancing and the fashion show.

“I am excited for the upcoming assembly except I feel there is not enough time to do much in 28 minutes. Overall, I like my role as a leader,” junior Antonia Ackel said.

The assembly is scheduled to happen a week during Black History Month. During that week there will be a few small surprises that may take place days before the assembly. BSU will continue to have multiple acts that push past boundaries and focus on the controversial issues that have happened in 2019. The bright young minds that have been planning for this year’s assembly with lots of hard work and dedication are ecstatic to showcase their background and continue to push forth a positive narrative.