Black History Month events take place at WJ

Margaret Georgiev

More stories from Margaret Georgiev

BSU members are at the entrance of the Josiah Museum preparing to watch a film on Josiah Hensen.

Black History Month (BHM) takes place every year during the month of February to honor the work and advancements of all African Americans in their many fields, places of work and specialties.

At WJ the Black Student Union (BSU) is an active organization that works closely with administration and leadership to promote a safe environment for all students in school. They have a mission statement.

“[It] is to be a safe place for black students at WJ to come share their experiences, make friends and find a community,” said BSU president and senior Joyce Onana.

BSU’s major event is the assembly that they put on every year for BHM. The assembly comprises multiple speeches, songs and performances that BSU members create. The assembly includes modern and historic events covered, like the March on Washington.

“The assembly has been held at WJ for years now and it’s just a tradition we have for BSU. It’s goal, I would say, is to showcase black culture to the school on a larger scale,” said Onana.

However, BSU’s response to the way that the assembly will be presented this year was skeptical.

“We are trying to plan our virtual assembly and get our members involved the best we can. Last year was virtual because we, as a school, were also virtual…but it’s definitely different to be back in school and for the assembly to remain virtual,” said Onana.

BSU’s assembly took place virtually this year on Feb. 23 during homeroom periods. The assembly described the importance of influential activists including Dr. Shirley Jackson and General Colin Luther Powell. Throughout the assembly, songs, dances, stories and speeches were performed by BSU members. In addition, a major part of the assembly was the discussion of the importance of the Harlem Renaissance which included videos and speeches.

Reaction to the BSU assembly develops different reactions from students.

”I thought the BSU assembly was one of the best ones over the past four years and highlights the history and current events,” said senior Andrea Mendoza.

Additional reactions developed to the BSU assembly, some of which caused the assembly to be very inspiring.

“The different speeches like Simon says and Islamophobia was really emotional and hearing what people go through. I personally love all the hard work those people put in from the speeches to the amazing step team. I really like the format of the BSU assembly,” senior Hailey Gray said.