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The independent student media site of West Linn High School

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The independent student media site of West Linn High School

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Celebrating Black History Month

Black Student Union (BSU) holds event dedicated to Black History Month on Feb. 7
Club+members+of+BSU+served+food+as+people+made+their+way+down+the+line%2C+choosing+what+they+wanted+on+their+plate.
Lauren Sexton
Club members of BSU served food as people made their way down the line, choosing what they wanted on their plate.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Black Student Union (BSU) hosted an event on Feb. 7. The goal was to highlight black figures and showcase the month’s importance. The event took place after school in the Commons and all were welcome to attend. 

The event included activities such as basketball games, and provided cultural food. In addition, BSU shirts were sold for $15 and music by black artists was played throughout the event.

Malaika Ruirie, senior, has been a BSU club member since she was a sophomore, and became a student leader her junior year. This is the first time she helped organize a BSU event dedicated to showcasing Black History Month. 

“Our school tries to do different affinity events, like Unity Week, but this is the first year within recent timing that we’ve put on an event for Black History Month,” Ruirie said. “We’ve been saying we’re going to do one and this is the first time we’ve actually done it, so I’m really proud of us for that.”

Ruirie helped plan out the games and ran the event from behind the scenes, assisting in serving food, helping set up, and lending a hand during clean up.

Outside of club members, the Associated Student Body (ASB) assisted in the preparation. ASB helped organize the event and supply the food. Kennedy Toomer, sophomore, who is a member of both ASB and BSU, assumed a leadership role in preparation. Brody Olson, sophomore ASB officer, was in charge of handling the money for concessions. 

“This event [highlighted] black history but also showed that we are a community,” Olson said. “We celebrate people with different cultural backgrounds and all which is awesome.”

BSU encouraged students and staff to wear a jersey of their favorite black athletes, however, some wore the BSU shirts being sold. Along with basketball games, another game, ‘Guess the Athlete’, was played where participants had to guess what athlete the hints were referring to. The game also incorporated information about each athlete. Neema Karanja, freshman, joined the club this year and sported one of the shirts.

“From the games, I hope people go home with a little bit more knowledge about black athletes and understanding more about the culture too,” Karanja said.

The food provided was $15 and the selection included fried chicken and pulled pork sliders, skewers, and a choice of chips and drink. Local restaurants and families provided all of the food.

“I haven’t had injera in a while but eating it right now brings back memories,” Karanja said.

Prior to starting the basketball games, students had time to practice and arrange themselves into teams.

BSU meets every Monday in room A202. For more information, contact the club’s teacher advisor, Michella Bonham ([email protected]), or one of the student leaders.

“We definitely hope to do this event in upcoming years,” Ruirie said. “I’ve been seeing a lot of involvement from the underclassmen which makes me so happy because I was the only underclassman when I first joined and now the majority of BSU is underclassmen.”

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Lauren Sexton, Sports Editor
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