Spotlight On Black History Month

This month is Black History Month,  and to celebrate, we got an exclusive interview with the President of the Black Student Union, senior Aishat Amoo, and talked to her about the importance of having a community where minorities can socialize amongst others with similar experiences.

Why did you decide to be president of the Black Student Union? 

 I used to go to a private school called The Village School and ever since I’ve been to America, I’ve been in PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions), and the first way I was able to be comfortable was surrounding myself with people in my own community, which made me want to create a safe space for people like me in the school. I was involved in the African Student Union in my other school, so  I was interested ever since I joined in my junior year. 

Why do you think it’s important to have a Black Student Union at school?  

It’s important because there are a lot of niche experiences that a lot of black people in this school have. And as I said,  creating a safe space for people to be able to validate their experiences and not think that they’re delusional or something, that’s actually things that happen in the school. 

What does minority groups having a platform to talk about their shared experiences mean to you? 

It means being able to, like I said, express yourself freely. Being able to live in your own space and not be clouded by judgment and being able to speak up and represent yourself. So, if something is affecting your community outside of the school, you know, you should say something.

Do you think there’s enough black student engagement in the school? 

No, I don’t think so. I’ve certainly heard some things about some black students not wanting to join a  club or they don’t want to participate because they’re afraid of being different, even though the club is for people who feel different. 

 Do you think the school can do something to make the school more inclusive? 

I think the culture there was definitely like the first big step in being able to have a lot more inclusion and celebrate cultural diversity.

It is Black History Month. Is there any specific part of Black History Month that you think people need to pay attention to ?

People need to pay attention to the inventors, the people who started certain things that we didn’t have (before).  Madam CJ Walker’s a pretty popular one that people know. Even the light bulb, it was a black person that helped that be established. There’s just all these other things that a lot of people do not know, that there was a black person or someone who looked like them was involved in that.

How is the Black Student Union providing social support  to black students?

(By) talking about topics that no one really talks about or don’t think that happens in real life because they just think it’s because they’re outdated, but it’s also letting them know that they’re able to expand outside of the stereotypes that are bound to them. Some of the topics I’ve talked about are how people are more expressive and black people are more expressive in the way that they present themselves now with their hair and stuff like that. I’ve also talked about cyber bullying within the black community and being able to not follow the stereotype of being in a monolith and being able to do what you want to do without being  judged by your community.

What is BSU doing for Black History Month? 

First, we did the cultural day dance. We incorporated some of the most popular diasporas in the Black community. The African American with hip hop and then Afro beats with African. (We had) a joint potluck with the other BSUs of Katy ISD at  Willow Fork park. Those are ways we’re able to connect with other BSUs and Black communities outside of the school.