International Relations Club showcases Black History

by Diego Perdomo

bhm 2019

WE HAVE A DREAM: Senior Ari Andl portrays civil rights figure Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King is one of the most widely known figures in the Civil Rights Era for his peaceful protests. Photo by Diego Perdomo

As times change, Black History Month becomes increasingly important in a Eurocentric world. While the month appears to solely highlight the history and hardships of many African Americans, it also serves as a moment to recognize and honor the culture of African and Afro-Caribbean peoples. For this reason, the international relations club hosted a presentation for students to learn about African American figures.

Instead of just giving trivia and regurgitating information about history, the presentation aimed to share the importance of black history month. Each student had to adopt the perspective of a notable black figure and deliver a monologue. This approach allowed students to establish better connections with the figures portrayed.

“I believe we [International Relations Club] wanted to accomplish being able to educate the school more about Black History than what they already know,” said senior Tyra Bostic. “I’m sure many people walked away learning something they didn’t already know about a former black history leader.”

The presentation was held for each study hall class inside of the West Broward auditorium. Consisting of monologues and digital clips, the display focused on black individuals like Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, and Mansa Musa. The monologues were based on published works, speeches, and personalities from the figures covered. For example, senior Heron Marley Willis based his portrayal of Muhammad Ali on his political activism.

“I have always been interested in Muhammad Ali, but I only knew about his greatness as a boxer,” Willis said. “So when we were researching him, I learned about his personal position on segregation and racism; it really intrigued me because it showed a political, yet peaceful, side to him that I never saw before. I support his views and ideologies, so it made it easier for me to connect to him as my figure and it made me want to portray him the best way I could with the limited time I had.”

To many in the club, black history is an opportunity for each student to revel in their culture and recognize the progress their ancestors have made. This exhibition allowed many students to share their culture while getting closer simultaneously getting closer to it.

“I connect to black history month as I’m in the position that my ancestors wished for me to be in,” said senior Ari Andl. “I connect to black history month because their message has only inspired me to continue their movement, and spread love to the future.”

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