PHOTO: The Davis High Black Student Union launched a social media campaign called “The Black Experience” to share different African American individuals’ experiences.
By Allyson Kang,
The Davis High Black Student Union is holding events, including a social media campaign, a keynote speaker and a movie showing, to occur throughout this month to celebrate February as National African American History Month.
“Everyone should take the time to participate in Black History Month because these stories and feats are what help mold our world and nation,” BSU president and DHS senior Oluwadara Ogundiwin said.
BSU officer and DHS senior Daniel Engotto is heading the club’s social media campaign called “The Black Experience,” during which different African American individuals are anonymously sharing their unique experiences.
“Even though […] there are many commonalities in our struggle, there are also differences. We hope to [elaborate] on those differences to show that the picture of the conflict is bigger than what is expressed in the media,” senior and BSU club officer Valdy Ngassam said.
BSU is also hosting a movie night on Feb. 22 to show and discuss “Moonlight,” which covers the school-to-prison pipeline, brutality and the experiences of a young, gay, black man. Check out their Instagram at @dhs.b.s.u to learn more about February’s events.
Outside of club events, DHS students can focus on further educating themselves about African American history.
“The best way to celebrate and commemorate African American History Month is to do so by obtaining knowledge. Knowledge empowers us all. Ignorance tends to destroy us,” said Elisa White, a UC Davis professor of African American and African studies.
White suggests setting aside time to devote to examining works, from screen films to art pieces, that focus on discussing the experiences of African American people.
While we do so, White suggests reflecting on two questions: “Why are we not always learning this as something integral to the history of the United States? [and] What circumstances have limited our opportunities to learn this history?” White said.
Ngassam, Ogundiwin, White and junior Julian Johnson all agree that the goal is to break past the surface of African American history.
“I think Davis High should dig deeper into learning more about black leaders […] I think students should look into important black leaders that they’ve never even heard of,” Johnson said.
“Our history and our credits and contributions need to be heard more. There’s so much more to our race than what is presented and since we all want to believe that our country, our community is for equality and fairness in representation, we need to express [that] in everything we do, from what we learn, what events we plan out to how we treat one another as individuals,” Ngassam said.