February is Black History Month, a time to raise awareness of the experience of black people and their contributions to society. This past February was also an opportunity to raise student awareness of a new club at Cary-Grove — the Black Student Union.
As the name of the club states, it focuses on black student issues and creating a safe environment for black students, but everyone is welcome.
For Black History Month, the BSU compiled a list of influential songs written by black artists to play during the musical minute, as German music was played on the musical minute when the foreign exchange students came last year and how Latino Leadership Club got to play Spanish music for a while.
“We made the musical minute playlist, but they told us we were only allowed to play it for the last week,” senior Camille Perry said. “We also wanted to put slides on influential people from black history up on the big screens in the cafeterias, but we didn’t have enough time to prepare.”
Even if you’re not aware of Black History Month, it would be a pleasant change to hear something other than “Let it Go” and “Hands” when you’re scrambling to your next class.
Despite the BSU’s efforts to change the musical minute, February went by with the same old songs playing.
“We were supposed to do the musical minute all month,” Perry said. “During a meeting with Mrs. Fischer, the teachers in charge talked about the club, but my idea for the musical minute wasn’t brought up.”
While the BSU didn’t get their playlist into the musical minute, the group will continue with its mission of building awareness and empathy.
“I hope […] we get to share black culture with other people,” Perry said. The BSU “is a chance to show what we’re really about without people coming for our culture and calling us ‘ghetto’ or ‘ratchet.’”
Perry founded the BSU in December. She got the idea to form it in our predominantly white school because she wanted to create a community of other black students to help each other out.
“Basically, there was an incident my sophomore year where someone said something racist and I retaliated, and I got a detention,” she said. “I felt like we needed more of a community for people to talk about these experiences so we don’t feel as alone.”
If you’re interested in helping the BSU’s mission, you should check out a meeting. They are held every other Wednesday in the health room. Perry and the other leaders have created a welcoming and understanding community of active students.
Because CG is a predominantly Caucasian school, students should take it upon themselves to become educated on black culture, whether that means coming to BSU once or twice, researching a little bit on important figures of black history, or simply just listening to influential black musicians.
If you want to hear more than just the music that wasn’t played on the musical minute this month, Perry collaborated with the Trojan Times to create this Spotify playlist to celebrate black excellence in music. You can access it through the big Spotify button on our homepage, or through this link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5z4xvLlaE59dfjmZfgFqJT