Conant club transforms Black History Month celebration
In celebration of Black History Month, Black Leaders Achievers (BLA) has organized Conant’s first annual Black History Month Event to be held on Tuesday, February 18 during lunch periods.
BLA, founded by Faith Massey, ‘21, and Desia Holmes, ‘20, aims to teach leadership skills and educate students and faculty about black history and culture.
“We sensed a lack of representation for [black students], given our small demographic in the school. We wanted to have a student-led representation of us so that it could be accurate and disprove a lot of the stereotypes people see about us,” Holmes said.
The club meets one Monday a month after school and welcomes everyone. Each meeting begins with leadership development and covers a specific leadership skill through the use of personal anecdotes and online resources. The club then discusses black culture and upcoming events.
Massey said, “We don’t like to focus on the negatives because we want members to see the accomplishments black people are making right now.”
One main goal is to change the way people see black history and culture. Holmes said, “Black culture goes beyond slavery and civil rights. There are so many people that have influenced our culture and American culture.”
“The first successful open-heart surgeon was a black man. All we’re taught in social studies is civil rights and slavery. I get that it’s all that students know; however, that’s what we want to expose you to: the rest of black history,” said Massey
The assembly meets this goal. “Black history is our history, and without it, America would be completely different from what it is today,” Massey said.
The BLA founders want people from all backgrounds involved. “Everyone benefits from this, and we want everyone to realize that. Black culture is also uplifting others. So if we’re going to celebrate, we include everyone,” Holmes said.
“We want to emphasize our representation and we want people to realize that we are serious about what we do,” Massey said.