Black History Month Celebration 2021

The+Diversity+Club+displayed+a+mural+that+reads+Black+is+Power

Kayley Ulbrik

The Diversity Club displayed a mural that reads “Black is Power”

Kayley Ulbrik, Sports Editor

  Despite the impacts on the community from COVID-19, various students and staff at L’Anse Creuse High School North (LCN) are continuing the tradition of planning the annual Black History Month Celebration.

 

   Every year, students look forward to Black History Month because the LCN Diversity Club does a remarkable job putting on a show for students, staff, and parents to watch. In past years, students in the LCN community would show off their African American heritage by dancing, singing, reading poetry, displaying their different hair styles, and much more.

 

   Senior Charis Fair, who is a member of the Diversity Club, says, “My favorite part of the celebration was when we all danced and celebrated our culture together… we all felt united and we had a ball!”

 

   As a spectator of the Black History Month Celebration, senior Christina Trotta says, “I liked seeing things from all different types of Black cultures… I thought it was interesting that no two performances were the same… it really showed all the diverse aspects of Black culture and it was very cool to see everyone showing off different parts of their culture and traditions.”

 

   Mr. Ekdahl, LCN German teacher, was also intrigued by the various acts during the celebration and the turnout from students, staff, and parents. According to Mr. Ekdahl, the students who planned the celebration never failed to entertain the audience and put a smile on their faces. “There were a lot of talented students… all different types of performances. There were amazing singers and dancers, the stomp routine was awesome, and my students really enjoyed it. I remember in previous years that sometimes there wasn’t enough seating because everyone wanted to go because it was so popular,” commented Ekdahl. 

 

   Until February of 2020, Mrs. Esshaki, a former LCN English teacher, ran the Diversity Club. Now, Ms. Dawn Stroud, the school psychologist, has taken on the role of running the club and planning for Black History Month. As the new advisor, Ms. Stroud says, “I was really excited about being able to be a part of the [Diversity] Club… it’s very new to me, but it’s very educational, so I’m excited to learn more about the students, their needs, and be a part of the student body.”

 

   “I knew that Mrs. Esshaki had left and that the position was open… and I knew that it was very important for this club to continue, and to have a space to gather and to talk… even though I was very new at this and I’m fumbling as I go, I also know that it’s really important that this be important to High School North,” says Ms. Stroud.

 

   Not only is Ms. Stroud looking forward to planning for Black History Month, there are numerous members of the Diversity Club who cannot wait to continue on the LCN tradition by celebrating African American culture.

 

   Deahzana Randall, ‘22, says that in the previous years of preparing for the celebration, “My favorite part would be practicing [for the performances] … and seeing the happiness that filled the room.”

 

   Due to the restrictions that COVID-19 has put on group gatherings, there will need to be many changes regarding how this month will be celebrated. Crista Turner, ‘22, also explains that, “We’re trying to do a celebration this year, but a lot of things are different… Instead of doing the celebration, we’re doing a lot of other stuff around the school. We make announcements and now we have bulletin boards around the school.” The bulletin board is a student-made board that promotes Black History Month and the culture that resides in African Americans.

 

   Randall adds, “I think it’s very important that hearing the announcements in the morning still incorporates it in a way, so that makes us feel good that we’re still celebrating although we can’t do the big celebration that we usually do.”

 

   When it comes to the importance of celebrating Black History Month, Randall says, “For me, I think it has to do a lot about representation. I feel like for a lot of black people, it’s hard to be inspired because you don’t see as many people of your color or tone doing these things that inspire you… to celebrate at school really brings out your history and reminds you how great it is to be a person of color.”

 

   These ladies have shown the true love for Black History Month and celebrating their culture. The way that they express their feelings for African Americans and wanting to continue the tradition for the annual celebration also encourages other students throughout LCN to be informed about Black leaders and their contributions. 

 

   Turner leaves a lasting statement by saying, “I think it’s important for everyone to realize that Black History isn’t just a month…. It’s our past, it’s our present, and it’s our future. It impacts everyone because we were built off black people, so just be informed and stay informed.”

 

   Needless to say, the Diversity Club has not let the restrictions of COVID-19 get in their way of celebrating Black History month.