The month of February is Black History Month, which is dedicated to highlighting Black people who have made a positive impact on the world we live in today. The Oracle sat down with five students who identify as Black and asked about their experiences with Black History Month at Archer. Many students said that actress and civil rights activist Donzaleigh Abernathy's presentation on her experience growing up during the Civil Rights Movement was one of the most powerful moments of their on-campus Black History Month experience. Their comments go beyond 2020 to consider how Archer could celebrate Black History Month in the future.
Anaya Nwachuku-Thompson ('20)
About her experience with this year's Black History Month: "I really liked the speaker that Archer brought in, Ms. Abernathy. It really brought a new perspective to my view on my identity, and I think her words educated a lot of people at Archer about history that comes along with Black people in America. I think it was really positive."
About how Black History Month at Archer can improve: "I wish there were more affinity spaces for Black people to communicate about common interests and concerns about our lives in America, or having a school-wide event, possibly with soul food in the courtyard for fun — just to have the whole school celebrating Black History Month.
About her experience with this year's Black History Month: "Last year there were poem readings — for example, Sydney Curry read a poem last year. Honestly, I have not seen Black History Month kickstart. Last week in Black Student Union we talked about Black love. I hope the celebrations of Black culture don't stay within those meetings but come to the larger community."
About how Black History Month at Archer can improve: "I wish that we could celebrate in the courtyard. Playing music by Black artists in the courtyard would be cool because I really wish there was more emphasis on this month. It honestly is not that hard to arrange celebrations in the courtyard. It would be fun to have a potluck of soul food on the last Friday of February. Something in Community Connections would make Black History Month more prominent in the community.
About her experience with this year's Black History Month: "I feel like there was not really much talked about. Usually it is talked about more. Last year, Black Student Union came up and talked about Black History Month, and [this year] not a lot of people were aware that it was Black History Month. It felt like the month went past without any mention of the significance of the month."
About how Black History Month at Archer can improve: "Just bringing it up and making it more of a conversation for everyone in the community would make this month feel like it was celebrated. It just felt like there was not enough celebration."
About her experience with this year's Black History Month: "We sometimes have different events in the courtyard showing different cultures with music, so I wish we could have done something like that. Having different celebrations and dances done in the courtyard to show what Black History Month is about would be cool."
About her experience with this year's Black History Month: "I feel like we could have done more promoting of Black businesses and Black authors. I also wish we had more of an uplifting speaker. [Donzaleigh Abernathy] was really cool and interesting and I loved that she talked about Martin Luther King Jr., but at the same time, I was really sad, and it made me feel a little uncomfortable. The majority of my class is white, so it was kind of awkward talking about such a sad subject."