First Ever Virtual Black History Month BSU’s Triumph to Success (Part 1)

Jaylin Henderson , Copy Editor

Part 1: The Black History Month Lessons Created and Led By DVC’s Black Student Union 

This year was the first-ever virtual Black History Month, and the Black Student Union (BSU), a student-run club at Da Vinci Communications (DVC), planned three lessons to educate DVC students and staff. BSU brought many controversial topics to light and opened up room for new discussions to be had in the DVC community. 

Each lesson was designed and designated to empower and educate. Black Student Union decided on three lessons to present titled, “Black Is,” “Black Pride Parade,” and “Roots.” Each lesson had a specific purpose, but there was one underlying theme: Black Empowerment. 

Black is

This was the introduction to Black History Month at DVC, with a video filled with joy from black students. Every student had a different meaning of what being black meant to them. Sophomore Faye Cooper said it best, “being black is a community.” 

Junior Maliyah Crown participated in the Black is presentations, and she gave her own unique standpoint on what being black means to her. 

“I just touched on some of my experiences on being black and then just not being black, but also being black and Mexican,” said Crowe. “Just my experiences growing up in church, growing up going to the beauty supply just different experiences that I’ve had as a black person.” 

When BSU explained the student criteria for the video, there was an overload of excitement from the entire DVC community. Students had the opportunity to talk about themselves and understand their own identities. Students spoke about going to church and being there for hours with their grandma and the “brother nod”, which is black men talking to every black man they see. The video wasn’t serious, instead, it was a way to show all black students they’re connected to each other in more ways than they may know. 

Black Pride Parade

The second lesson was entitled “Black Pride Parade.” This was BSU’s way of empowering and acknowledging the black LGBTQ+ community. BSU discussed ballroom culture, voguing, and the impact that the LGBTQ+ community has had on modern-day pop culture. 

Sophomore Issac Jones had a quote that has now been stuck to him. When in the video he said, “Come on black people.” He said this while giving praise to the black LGBTQ+ community and their contributions to American pop culture as well as their well-deserved representation in society. 

“I also participate in the Black Pride Parade, and that’s basically just, shedding light on the different areas of, ballroom or transgender government representation,” said Jones. “I specifically participated in the 2000s, which represented Rupaul’s Drag Race.”

Black Pride Parade was definitely many teachers’ and students’ favorite presentation, and the six students who were in the video had a blast being a part of it. Many times the black LGBTQ+ community is treated differently in the black community itself. BSU students wanted them to know that they support the community and will be with them every step of the way. Black Lives Matter has been a very important movement in America, but everyone needs to understand that ALL black lives matter, gender, and sexual orientation doesn’t change that. 

Roots

Roots was the final lesson for BSU’s Black History Month celebration. The slide presentation gave credit to black creators and influencers. The presentation was compiled of many topics such as music, academics, sports, etc. The presentation’s goal was to explain black history and how many people benefit from black creators without even knowing such as fashion designer, Dapper Dan. Athletes such as Wilma Rudolph have inspired many student-athletes, which sophomore Naeema Fontaine discussed in her slides. 

“I wanted to choose somebody that people might not have heard of, like, everyone knows Michael Jordan, people like that,” said Fontaine. “But I wanted to choose someone who’s less heard of, and because my mom was a runner herself, she had talked about Wilma Rudolph a lot. And that was someone I know a lot of people don’t know about.” 

For non-BSU students, they learned a lot more about black history and culture than ever before. Junior Jake Preston explained that this year was the first time he learned something new about black culture and its effects on American society

Within Christopher Jackson’s connections the history of music and black culture brought out a discussion from one of his students that let him know the presentations had a connection to everyone. 

“I have a gentleman, and he’s white in my connections, and he knew more about it, you know he was dropping some names that I knew of but I knew he knew more about them as far as when that question was, who originated rock and roll,” said Jackson. “And so he started dropping names and he just added on the conversation because that’s his thing you know music and playing the guitar. And so,  I was inspired by that. To see how he led the conversation, and he was of a different race, you see. And so he knew the history. He knew the truth.”

All three presentations gave different facts and perspectives of DVC black students and Black History. BSU hoped that these lessons taught students and staff something that they had never learned before and that students from all races found a way to connect to this knowledge. For black DVC students, BSU wanted them to know they are loved and wanted to finally change how usually black history is taught. Each lesson was one more way to support, educate and empower DVC’s black community.