What is the Black Student Union offering for Black History Month?

Maddie Barbar, Blueprint Editor

The month of February is dedicated to celebrating Black History in the United States. The United States uses February to commemorate the contributions that African Americans have made to American history in their struggles for freedom and equality. 

Black History Month began in the 1920s when it was created by Carter G. Woodson, a historian and member of the Assocaition for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Woodson originally called it “Negro History Week” and was celebrated for the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In the 1970s, President Gerald Ford expanded this week to an entire month. In his address to the nation, Ford stated that America needed to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

The Black Student Union (BSU) at Bishop Chatard has many events and learning opportunities for students to participate in this Black History Month. In the first week of February, BSU hosted a movie night on Thursday the 4th. They showed the movie Hidden Figures starring the Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, and Octavia Spencer team of female African-American mathematicians who served a crucial role in NASA during the beginning of the U.S. space program. Movie nights are hosted in the theatre room, and students must sign up in advance. 

The second movie night hosted by BSU is taking place at 7pm on the 18th. They will be showing the documentary 13th, a film by Ava DuVernay that investigates the American prison system, specifically the disproportionate amount of African Americans incarcerated in America. BSU director, Mrs. Amanda Horan said that the films were decided by the members of BSU by a vote. “Members chose Hidden Figures because we thought it would be fun and interesting. We decided on 13th for contrast, because it’s a documentary, and more educational than entertaining. We want it to accumulate an educational discussion,” said Mrs. Horan. On the 19th there will be a discussion on the documentary during Seminar via Google Meet.

This week, the BSU is offered West African Dance lessons with Ronne Stone. Stone came to BCHS to teach dance classes last year as well. Mrs. Horan said, “It’s hard not to love Ronne, she’s very good at what she does, and she makes the classes so much fun.” Classes are in the gym during Seminar today for the blue group, while the white group class had their lessons on Monday the 8th.  

On February 16th and 17th, Senior Justin Walls will be DJing during all lunches.  

Walls DJed at homecoming, and was going to DJ at prom before it was canceled. Walls said he enjoys DJing because, “I see people dance to what music I put on, and I feel happy because I’m using my dream to affect people’s lives in a positive way.” 

Another Black History Month event to look out for will be during Seminar on February 22nd. There will be a Black History Month trivia game sponsored by the BCHS Trivia Club and BSU. The BCHS Black Student Union has many different opportunities for students and staff to do their part in celebrating Black History this February.