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BASU Showcases Black History Month at Mt. Eden

BASU+planning+committee+for+Black+History+Month.
Jadyn Edwards
BASU planning committee for Black History Month.

February marks the annual celebration of Black History Month (BHM) in the United States. Observed from February 1st to February 29th, the month was chosen as a celebration of  Fredrick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. BHM was first created by Carter G. Woodson in 1926 but was originally just a week of celebration. In 1976, the week officially became what is celebrated now in February: Black History Month. At Mt. Eden, students from the Black and African Student Union (BASU) have organized various events to highlight the rich history and culture of black people.

“All I have ever wanted ever since being [at] Mt. Eden was to unify the connection of black students, and to teach and spread information about our culture,” said senior BASU president Jadyn Edwards. A planning committee consisting of Edwards and fellow BASU sophomore Christopher Little, and staff advisors of the union, Ashley Bell and Adrienne Witherspoon, organized all the events held in February in honor of the month. 

From February 12th to February 16th, the club established a spirit week for students. The themes of each day were centered around black culture; Monday, February 12, was Sunday’s Best which was to dress up in your best church outfit; Tuesday, February 13, was Black Panther Day which was to wear influential clothing to exemplify the Black Panther Party’s power; Wednesday, February 14, was Hair Love Day which was to have your hair in any black culture hairstyle; Thursday, February 15, was Throwback Thursday which was to wear a clothing style from an era in time; and Friday, February 16, was Freedom Friday which was to wear positive assertions of freedom.

The club held a Black History Month assembly on February 15th to commemorate black arts and culture, and African-American students. The assembly had various performances from groups around the school, including the Soul Steppers, theater, cheer, and guest singers. In addition, the Mt. Eden Gallery of Art (MEGA) and BASU got together to exhibit an art show displaying the diversity of Mt. Eden through art. The gallery opened on February 15th after school and is available through March 6th. 

During February, the club held two different fundraisers: Black History Love Grams for Valentine’s and Food Plate Fundraiser that offered soul food that originated from black culture. Previously, the BASU held a Hot Cocoa Fundraiser to raise money to unite black families in a bowling event.

BASU continues to connect people and organize  around the Hayward community. Club vice-president Sophia Kyama, a Mt. Eden senior, mentioned collaborating with Hayward High School to spread awareness about black culture.

“In the past 2 years, we’ve done a lot to really rebuild what [BASU] once was, and there’s been lots of trial and error, but I feel like our active members have all become very close and it’s really rewarding to feel like I’ve gained relationships from this club,” said senior club secretary Naomi Gikanga.  

 

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Catherine Escoto, Co-Editor
Hello! My name is Catherine Escoto and I am a Co-Editor for The Monarch Times for the 2023-24 school year. This is my first year in the class and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I was born and raised in Hayward, California. I love writing during my free time and working with young kids at my job. I can be contacted through my Instagram or my email. Please sit back and enjoy my articles!
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