Black History Month

To honor Black History Month, Wilson’s Black Student Union (BSU) and the SGA are working together to create a full schedule of activities to acknowledge the contributions of Black people in American history and celebrate Black culture. 

SGA President Vanessa Ramon-Ibarra said she is committed to taking this month to “prioritize embracing Black culture and our Black students.” 

“Our goal is to have school-wide involvement in the activities. We want to make sure there is space for Blackness in the building in its entirety, something this school doesn’t always do,” BSU leader Malcom Hornsby said.

The full itinerary includes line dancing, celebrations of Afro-Latinx and Afro-French culture, jazz performances, clothing drives, and of course, Wilson’s Historically Black College & University door decoration contest.

Unfortunately, many students are unaware of all of the events going on. “I know on the intercom they announce a Black history fact but that’s about it,” said junior Kenefere Kamani. 

Senior Eden Parker pointed out that by talking about well-known figures like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., “they are recycling Black history facts that only emphasize the perception that Black people are a monolith.” 

“It brings me a host of pride to be reminded of my people’s generational contribution,” Parker continued. “But, I long for something more profound that integrates this ode to Black people in every space of academia or social policy.” 

Regardless, students agree that the announcements in and of themselves are an important way to honor Black leaders—and all steps that Wilson takes to recognize Black culture are essential.  

“It’s important that Wilson celebrates Black History Month because it shows their appreciation and acknowledgment for Black history,” said senior Jamilah Springer, adding that it should be “a month of celebration and reflection of black excellence.” 

Events like the HBCU door decoration contest, which has been a Black History Month staple at Wilson since it was started five years ago, help to celebrate Black educational institutions in America. The contest aims to highlight and introduce a portion of the many prestigious predominantly Black colleges and universities across the country to students who may not know of them. 

Black History Month often focuses on African-American history. However, SGA and BSU members aim to highlight Afro-French and Afro-Latinx history as well this year.

Recognizing the contributions of both Afro-Latin and Afro-French culture to Black culture is vital,” said Hornsby, because all sects of the African diaspora aren’t always recognized, but their contributions to Black culture are fundamental. . All sects of the African diaspora aren’t always recognized, but their contributions to Black culture are fundamental. 

The efforts of BSU and SGA to celebrate Black History Month have not gone unappreciated by the student body. “It’s really great that we have clubs like Black Student Union that are run by amazing people in Wilson who make it a safe space and who make people feel represented and supported,” Kamani said. 

“The concept of American history doesn’t exist without Black history,” Parker explained. “It can’t be omitted from the general curriculum or from our daily thoughts and reserved for a month.” •