Black Student Union Continues to Bring Awareness of Black History to Skyline

Dina Sitou, Forum Writer

‘To acknowledge that black history isn’t just slavery or segregation, it is the resilience and excellence that black people have’: Black Student Union (BSU)strives to encourage young black leaders through representation.

From politics to music, Black Americans have played a crucial role in American history.

Students at Skyline walk the halls from class to class with headsets, many supporting Black creators by streaming songs by Kid Cudi, Drake, Brent Faiyaz, Jay Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, and more. When students get home from school and turn on the news, they may also see Black political figures in the spotlight like Kamala Harris or former president Obama.

One objective of the BSU this year was to make sure every Black student at Skyline felt validated and heard. They also want every Black student to understand they have the individual freedom to be whoever they’d like.

Last month the BSU asked students in support of Black History Month to sign pledges to make a commitment to supporting Black students. The BSU also handed out wristbands with the statement, “Black History is American History”.

Although in support of notable Black figures, many Americans still open up their calendars during the month of February and ask themselves, “What’s the point of having a month dedicated to a history I don’t relate to?”.

Many Americans often forget America’s dark past and the role the United States played in enslaving African Americans.

Even though slavery was legally put to an end in 1865, for the 100 years following the emancipation act, it left behind a shadow of separation.

Segregation did not just mean “separate but equal”. It also defined the treatment of each person within that group.

Whites benefited from institutions that Blacks did not have access to for centuries.

Black Americans did not start attending college in large numbers until the 1960s.

According to Ferris State University, until 1968, it was illegal in Alabama for African Americans to be served at a restaurant in the same room as a white person and in Texas for African Americans and Whites to attend the same school.

In 2015, less than a decade ago, South Carolina finally took down the Confederate flag. The confederate flag represents the states that fought to preserve slavery during the American Revolution.

The awareness in the United States around racial oppression has improved over the past few decades through the use of social media and social justice movements. Although, violence and injustice rooted in racism still occurs all the time.

According to Harvard University, Black people are more than three times as likely as white people to be killed during a police encounter.

It is extremely important to acknowledge the dark history of racism in the United States in order to understand the steps necessary to living in a safer America.

However Black history is not defined by oppression. To thrive despite being given the hand harder to be dealt with is brilliance in itself.