Written by: Lara
Edited by: Keitaro
Visual by: Anushka
February is Black History Month. Originating in the United States, Black History Month celebrates achievements and events in African American history and honors the contributions of African Americans to society.
In line with Black History Month, the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Club (BIPOCC) hosted a week-long event: Black History Week. Luna, president of BIPOCC, said she was inspired by events hosted by other cultural clubs such as the annual Filipiniana festival hosted by Philippine Cultural Club, which included various performances, activities, and a barrio fiesta.
The goal of Black History Week was to educate the ISM high school community through a fun learning environment. Luna explains, “Our club aimed for this event to remind people of all the important black figures and to shine light on topics we don’t learn enough of during classes. But we also wanted the week to be full of fun and interactive activities that people could participate in without having to feel like they are attending lectures. We believe this is the proper way to engage people into wanting to learn more about a culture.”
Following this belief, the weeklong event included daily interactive activities. On Monday, BIPOCC led a game of Kahoot about racism in Brazil and its effects. Tuesday’s activity was a presentation from Mr. Gray and Ms. Ramani unpacking anti-bias and anti-racist language. Participants played a game of jeopardy on Wednesday where they were asked historical questions about topics such as important black figures and sports events. On Thursday, BIPOCC President Luna led an open Afro dance class for beginners. Lastly, on Friday they had a club screening of Hidden Figures, a movie about three African American women at NASA who were the brains behind one of history’s greatest operations—launching an astronaut into orbit.
Sophomore Kailani believes that Black History Week is a great opportunity for activism, “We should be speaking out all year round, but I think this event was a great time for people to speak up and participate in advocating for black lives and promoting racial equality.”
This year’s Black History Week event was the first of its kind and it was a clear success. Black History Week provides members of the ISM HS community an opportunity to learn about the African American race, a topic that is very relevant in today’s society.
BIPOCC’s Black History Week is a great start to learning more about culture and traditions of various ethnicities, tribes, races, and nations. After all, Maya Angelou once said, “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
The more the ISM community learns about other cultures and traditions, the more we will understand and embrace them. Culture is a large part of one’s identity. We cannot bear to lose it.