BSU and CHS celebrate Black History Month
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By Devese “Dee” Ursery
Collinsville High School is hosting Black History Month and the Black Student Union will be out front unapologetically representing the “Culture.”
The BSU has a slew of activities lined up for the month-long celebration to help honor and educate the uneducated on African American history and achievements. Members of the club also use this month as an opportunity to reflect on why the celebration is important to them.
Ember Breeding, campus social committee leader, said it gives her the opportunity to observe, learn, and appreciate contributions made by many African-Americans in this country. She said that having Black History Month at the high school affords her the opportunity to learn more about her under-represented side.
“Black History Month is really important to me because I get to see, understand and appreciate the contributions of African-Americans in this country,” Breeding said. “It helps me to embrace that part of myself that I really don’t know.”
Breeding is biracial and sheds more light on the importance of Black History Month and being raised exclusively by her white side of her family. She said that she doesn’t get to interact with the Black side of her family much and with that comes a lot of things she hasn’t learned.
“Celebrating Black History Month for me is very personal,” Breeding said. “It’s about getting to learn more about that part of myself, who I am and who I can be and learning to embrace it.”
Breeding explains that without the BSU and her sorority affiliate group she would have little to no resources to help her explore or discover her own Blackness. She is a member of the affiliate group Sigma Gamma Rho.
Ray Briggs, junior vice president, said that the Black History Month gives her the chance to share a part of herself with not just her family, but friends. Briggs said her grandmother four times over was a freed slave. She said that fact is something that her family holds onto to signify strength.
Activities for Black History Month will start on Feb. 10 with the Door Decorating Competition. Classroom doors throughout CHS will be decorated in a fashion that honors the celebration.
Classrooms voluntarily submit their doors and the students vote on the winner. Over the past few celebrations, the art classes have been the big vote getters, according to the BSU.
The BSU will also host a Sunday Soul Food Brunch at Old Herald’s from 10am – 3pm on Feb. 5 and 26. The menu will consist of chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy carved, bone-in ham and more. Sunday Brunch will cost $18.50 for adults ages 11 and up and $10 for kids under the age of 10 with 15% of proceeds going to BSU. Proceeds from the brunch will go towards the Collinsvile Juneteenth weekend.
In addition to brunch, on Feb.7, the BSU will have Soul Food Tuesday. Food trucks wll parked in the quad during lunch hours. The food trucks will be selling Southern comfort food staples like greens, sweet potatoes, southern fried fish, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, barbequed ribs and more.
Leaders of the BSU said that Soul Food Tuesday is a day that they really look forward to. They get to share their taste in food to someone who may never have had Southern comfort food.
BSU will also host a movie night where ‘Black Panther Forever’ will be playing from 5pm-8pm in the school auditorium on Feb, 10.
On Feb.17, there is Divine Nine Day, when fraternities and sororities from Historically Black Colleges and Universities come to CHS. The representatives of some of the oldest fraternities and sororities in the country come out to mentor and talk to students about the opportunities that HBCUs have to offer.
Unity Skate Night, an event put on by the BSU and will feature various clubs from CHS. Clubs like the BSU, the Gay/Straight Alliance, Childhood Cancer Association and the Hispanic Heritage and Latin Clubs will compete in color wars. Each club will have a certain color of shirt and the club that has the most people at the event, wins.
The BSU is all inclusive and invites any part of the student body to come and see what they are all about. Black History Month in a school like CHS shows the African American student population that they are thought of and seen. For some students, it’s the only way to celebrate Black History Month.
Taylor Foote, BSU president says that when the school does something like this to represent the Black student body, it’s really a big deal. Foote said that because of the BSU and CHS she can actually participate in and celebrate these types of events.
“When we do stuff like this at school it really is a big thing for me because I get to be involved,” Foote said. “I am really happy the BSU exists and that we have this month at the school where we can celebrate.”