Part 3 – BSU’s Remarks Regarding Their Lessons and Concerns for the Education During Black History Month
This year was the first ever virtual Black History Month, and the Black Student Union (BSU), a student run club, planned three lessons to educate Da Vinci Communications (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.
Once everything was completed, now BSU students got to sit back and enjoy everything they just like the rest of DVC. Once it was over, students had mixed emotions about the whole thing. They loved the praise they received from teachers and students, but also didn’t appreciate only having three connections lessons.
Three Lessons Only?
Students apart from BSU weren’t very happy with only receiving three lesson dates. BSU did not get the whole month to do something for Black History Month, instead they had three dates in the first two weeks of February. Many BSU students like Maliyah Crowe don’t believe in Black History Month anymore because they feel that black history is every month. They do not want to only hear about people who look like them in the shortest month of the year. So when BSU was only given three lessons, many students weren’t surprised and they were desensitized from it.
“You have your one teacher who tells you about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X every year, for the month of February, you hear about the same black Heroes for the first two weeks, and it’s just been that way for our whole lives, and it’s something that I’m used to,” said Crowe.
Sophomore Faye Cooper, wasn’t able to be a part of the planning process for the presentations, but she understood what many BSU students were coming from with their frustrations.
“Some students felt unintentionally neglected from only having three days to really convey your argument or talk or inform people about black lives and I feel like there was so much that we did, that is not recognized in 28 days, that can’t be recognized in 28 days, ever,” said Cooper.
For transfer sophomore Isaac Jones, it wasn’t what he truly expected, “In all honesty, offended isn’t the word any more, and I’m more confused as a transfer student, coming from another school we took the whole month to celebrate black history. And coming here, I was really confused as to why there were only three connection lessons. It didn’t make sense.”
As an adviser, Christopher Jackson wished that he would have spoken up and told the staff during the connections planning meeting that BSU wanted the whole month. He explained this when asked if it was fair that BSU was only given three connection lessons.
“Here’s how I can answer that question because you know I can’t just say that it wasn’t fair and I can’t just say that we were only given right,” said Jackson. “And the reason why I say that is because, like I said before in our meeting, I could have said look we want this, and we want the whole, you know, the month right, but I didn’t, I don’t know the reason why I didn’t, during the meeting of connections planning.”
All BSU students understand that DVC appreciates their black students in many ways, which was shown during the staff meeting. Many teachers and students do not know why they were only given three days for lessons, that question remains unanswered. As BSU started thinking they do not want to be a voice for the DVC black community only during Black History Month, instead they want to come to students once a month. Teachers like Janee Gerard, Regina Flores, Steven Covelman, and Christopher Jackson were 100% on board with those ideas and wanted to help advocate for the students to make it happen.
Positivity of it all
One day before the final presentation, the staff was very proud of BSU and the work they put in for Black History Month. BSU students were invited to the start of the staff meeting to be celebrated for their work. Junior english teacher Ashley Hapner praised students Claudia Brown, Jaylon Jones, and many more for their contributions in her connections class. Assistant Principal Andrew Daramola praised senior Milan Boykins for her admission into her dream university, Howard University. All BSU students that attended had smiles on their faces and felt extremely proud that their work was being recognized.
Teachers like U.S. history teacher Steven Covelman was excited to finally be able to understand students a lot more through the presentations. “Well, I thought that the Black History Month presentations were really excellent in that I felt like they were so personable and so good at just kind of reaching all of the students in the staff, because it helped us to get to know everyone in the videos.”
Freshman english teacher Regina Flores felt that positivity was in the air during the staff meeting. “Yes, everybody at our staff meeting was just celebrating you guys. Everybody loved it, it was like it was 100% the most positive thing I’ve heard about students all year long.”
Some students did wish that more teachers would have spoken up and celebrated everyone, but for the teachers who did students felt how proud all of the staff was. For sophomore Nia Robinson, she was praised by her connections teacher Janee Gerard.
“I specifically remember being celebrated by my Chemistry and Grade-Level Connections teacher, Ms. G.,” said Robinson. “She commemorated me for actively participating in everything that BSU put together. She was very proud to see some 10th-grade student representation.”
Gerard loved the creativity of the presentations and was all around proud to see what students were able to accomplish. “ “I loved that they were created by students for students. And I loved how there were interactive videos that were like the mosaic of the different experiences and the diversity within our DVC black community.”
All teachers were proud of BSU and the work each student did in order to truly make presentations that no one will ever forget. For BSU students who went to the celebrations the staff likes to make celebrations as awkward as possible. The rule is that during celebrations, the person celebrated can not say anything back, and just has to sit and hear all the positive affirmations. While it was awkward not to say anything back, seeing all the teachers praise students left BSU students knowing that the hard work paid off
The Finale of Black History Month
As another February went by and left, students felt proud and understood. Everyone saw just how diverse the black community is at DVC. BSU students wished there was more they could have shown, but all members can’t wait to make a difference again and bring joy to the black DVC community.
Adviser Christpoher Jackson was proud to watch his BSU students pull off another year of success, but he also wanted to make sure all DVC students understand one thing.
“We are recognizing humanity. And so even though this article is recognizing black culture,” said Jackson. “In reality, we’re recognizing humanity and just the different forms and different cultures and styles that God has placed in the different cultures.”
It took BSU two weeks to create everything, many students do not know how they pulled it off, but the endgame was worth it. It was the first time in a while students were excited to see what happens next. The month ending was bittersweet, but it also taught students how to use their voices in this virtual setting.
Students like Faye Cooper only had one more final thought when looking back at the presentations and Black History Month in general.
“We need a longer month. Exactly what Whitney Houston said,” Cooper explained. Her final message was short but leaves an important impact for everyone in America.