The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

BSU celebrates Black History Month with assembly showcasing America through the Black lens

Students+deliver+a+powerful+rendition+of+the+poem+I+Am+a+Black+Girl+by+April+Chukwueke+during+the+assembly+on+Feb.+23.
Mia Magone
Students deliver a powerful rendition of the poem “I Am a Black Girl” by April Chukwueke during the assembly on Feb. 23.

On Friday, Feb. 23, students filled the seats of the auditorium as the lights dimmed, marking the start of a spectacular showing of Black history and culture. Organized and designed by the Black Student Union (BSU), along with the assistance of clubs like the South Asian Student Union and Students of Color Alliance, this is the second annual in-person Black History Month assembly since the pandemic. With the theme of red, white and blue through the Black lens, the assembly aimed to celebrate and educate students about their impact in America.

According to BSU president, junior Mwape Sokoni, the key to the assembly lies between commemoration and education.

“The importance is striking a balance between educating and celebrating. I feel like often there can be two extremes of Black History Month, either people spend a lot of it only celebrating Black music and Black art, which is definitely good, and I do want to perpetuate those things, but they won’t take as much time to educate themselves about the importance of Black history and the struggles that we have faced historically. But on the other hand, a lot of the time people get mixed up in the belief that Black culture is about struggle, it’s about plight, it’s about Rosa Parks and Malcolm X and all these people who went through so much for our community,” Sokoni said.

Sokoni aimed to avoid leaning too much toward either side of the issue and tried to find the right formula of pride and struggle.

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“It is important to teach about those people and teach about their struggles and what we’ve historically gone through, but it is also important to realize that Black history is a celebration of culture, it is a celebration of our contributions, and there is joy in Black history and trying to find what parts of it we can celebrate and look at with smiles on our faces rather than tears in our eyes. I think this assembly is a good balance of educating and celebrating because it can be a double-edged sword,” Sokoni said.

To provide such a breathtaking performance, each member of the BSU put in an incredible amount of effort to perfect every detail. Spanish teacher and BSU sponsor Samuel Alvarez Garcia highlights the dedication the students put into preparing.

“The kids were working every Monday, Wednesday and Friday rehearsing, but last week they worked every day during lunch and after school. They worked very hard leading up to the assembly, and they did an amazing job and I’m really proud of them because they did this by themselves, with me just guiding, but not directing them. They were planning this for months, and they were excellent at putting emotion into their acts. I feel like they were able to feel and deliver every word to make an impact on the audience,” Alvarez Garcia said.

The assembly was one of the biggest contributions by the Black Student Union to celebrate Black history month this year, connecting to staff and students alike.

“The Black history month assembly was a very particular way for Black students to represent themselves and share their culture through a performance. This was a great way of bringing all WJ students to celebrate this Black history month,” senior Mariano Ferreira said.

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Mia Magone
Mia Magone, Business Manager
Junior Mia Magone is celebrating her second year as the Business manager for the Pitch. along with writing, she loves to swim, wrestle, read and hang out with her friends.
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