Students observe Black History Month with new traditions


Alara Stewart

Michaela Flowers, junior, wears her “Zeta In Training,” shirt during HBCU day of the Black History Month spirit week. “My mom is a Zeta and it’s common for women in sororities that have daughters to have their daughters pledge to the same Greek,” Flowers said.

Dani Wasserman, Staff Writer

The usual Black History Month celebration at U. City took a new turn this year. The student council organized different activities and events to not only recognize historical figures and events, but also recognize U. City African American students.

 “The StuCo is working with our African American seniors who have accomplished a lot in and out of the school,” Zakiya Glenn, senior, said. “We do spotlights on Instagram which highlight their achievements.” 

Senior leaders spent many hours growing their social media followers, and, as a result, they were able to reach a larger audience when highlighting student leaders.  

“The goal is to get more recognition for the African American students who attend U. City so that they don’t feel left out during these important moments and have the ability to  appreciate their historic culture,” Glenn said. 

In addition, instead of the typical recognition of Black culture through student performances during an assembly, it morphed into a video. Despite the Covid restrictions, Melvin Bond, counselor and organizer of the video, wanted to maintain as many of the original aspects of the assembly in video form. 

“In order to make the video similar to the assembly, we made sure to include the JROTC,  the Golden Girls, and [a step performance by staff members] ,” Bond said. “Additionally, we wanted to keep it very student inclusive and student-led.”

Student leaders participated by reading excerpts to recognize African Americans who have shaped history. Shawn Coleman, sophomore, chose to participate in the video as he saw it as an opportunity for students to make a difference in their community. 

“I decided to partake in the Black History Month film because I believe that it is important for all students to be aware of Black history,” Coleman said. “This video was a unique chance for students to show leadership and be involved in a community by recognizing Black history.”

In order to cultivate a community, students realized the need for students to be able to resonate with the video and see the direct impact of the influential figures on their own lives. 

“Because It is Black History Month, we wanted to get more in touch and personal with students,” Glenn said. 

Through student leadership, the student council was able to effectively reach students by helping them learn and appreciate their culture. For Coleman, the end result was all that mattered as his leadership paid off. 

“It felt very fulfilling being involved in something that can be used to educate others,” Coleman said.