Wakefield High School shows Black pride through month-long Black History celebrations


Staff Photo by Nic Cazin

The bulletin board outside of Wakefield High School’s Student Services repping a Black History Month tapestry to show Black pride.

Nic Cazin, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Every February, the United States and Canada celebrate Black History Month. This month serves as a celebration of Black culture and history while highlighting the contributions of civil rights leaders in our society. At Wakefield High School, we are celebrating through a month-long series of various events, as well as daily announcements discussing some significant history for the community. 

The Black Student Union, otherwise known as the BSU, and their Black History Month Committee, which was compiled of students both involved and not involved with the BSU, have worked incredibly hard to make this month fun-filled and educational for the student body. Synae Alexander, president of the BSU, has one major idea she hopes the student body will take away from this month’s celebrations. 

“My hope is that Black excellence will be promoted and the idea is encouraged,” Alexander said. “You see one kid [succeeding] and [if] they happen not to look like you it’s going to be more difficult to feel that you can do the same thing. I think really showing that Black excellence is possible and capable and you can be seen within Wakefield [is extremely important].”

My favorite part about it is the opportunity to build community; from the planning to the execution of events to coming back and debriefing after events. We get to build community and fellowship.

— Fletcher

One way Black excellence is being shown at Wakefield this month is through Historically Black Colleges Day, also known as HBCU Day, happening on Feb. 22. North Carolina is home to the second most HBCUs, coming in at ten universities across the state. Aiesha Morris, the culinary arts teacher and one of the advisors for the BSU, went to one of these universities. 

“I’m a fourth-generation Aggie, I went to North Carolina A&T [and] Winston-Salem University,” Morris said. “Coming from an HBCU, you want the kids to understand why they might want to go there. It’s like a cookout every day on the yard or on campus; it’s like a family reunion. We’re striving to not be a stereotype, [and] we’re striving to further our education.”

HBCU Day isn’t the only exciting thing going on this month. 

“We’re going to have a block party at the end of the month, that’s going to be fun,” Brianna Brown, the historian of BSU, said. “Black Excellence [Day] is [Feb. 15], so we’re dressing up to be fancy. There’s the Black author book fair, and my favorite thing is we’re going to have a culture day. Having your own culture is very interesting and being able to take pride in it in front of everybody is going to be [exciting] for everybody. You can rep your flags and everything.”

The BSU has also planned out a spirit week, happening from Feb. 21 to the 24. Students can participate in themed days ranging from ‘Don’t Touch My Hair/Blackout Day’ to ‘Throwback Thursday,’ where you can dress up as civil rights activists, celebrities, or anyone who is important to you. Those interested can find the rest of this month’s schedule to the left.

Aside from the fun spirit days and the educational opportunities these events provide Wakefield with, there is another positive aspect. 

“My favorite part about it is the opportunity to build community; from the planning to the execution of events to coming back and debriefing after events. We get to build community and fellowship,” Rasheedah Fletcher, who helped the BSU plan this month, said. “It’s just one of those opportunities [where] I get to come out of my counselor role and just be a part of the Wakefield community.”

This month’s calendar full of events made by the Black Student Union to celebrate black history. (Photo Courtesy of Brianna Brown)

While Black History Month serves as an added celebration of Black culture and further unifies students, the history aspect of this month is extremely important. 

“A lot of America is built on Black culture and Black people are a part of American history,” Alexander said. “We play such a big part in America down from the fact that slavery existed to the fact that our culture is so celebrated now, but not in a positive way. People celebrate Black culture but don’t really understand why, and that’s why I think it’s important to teach it.” 

Wakefield’s BSU strives to highlight the achievements of Black people, to inspire future generations and to promote Black pride. 

“I hope that [the students] will remain unified in the school as well as show their pride and their culture,” Morris said. “I hope they continue to shed light on their culture and truly what they want to do in the healthiest way possible.”