Black Student Association welcomes all

Emily Manning, Editor-in-Chief

At the beginning of this school year, the Black Student Association took over the previous student club Shades of South.
Hope Mezo, special education teacher, wanted to bring the Black Student Association to South to help spread awareness.
“I think [the association] is a need, and I think that’s very difficult for other teachers to realize in terms of having a Black Student Association,” Mezo said.
One of the club’s main focuses is educating themselves and those around them.
“We’ll talk about a significant African American figure, and then we want to teach students that it’s not just about the African American experience, but what does it mean to be black,” Mezo said.
The club does not solely focus on African American culture. They take time to also learn about other cultures.
“We do [talk about] other clubs and other minorities and other cultures because it’s important just to learn about the people. This is America for God sakes and what better way to do that than just to start at a high school club?” Makenzie Williams, junior, said.
In addition to the learning, the club is heavily involved in community service.
“We volunteer at a homeless shelter, and we do thanksgiving dinner where we cook, serve, and prepare lunches. We do different fundraisers. We did thank you grams [for Thanksgiving] and we will do valentines grams for Valentine’s Day. We do scholarship opportunities and will be going to JJC’s Black Teen Summit,” Mezo said.
The Association holds a strong sense of community among their members.
“We’re able to have open conversations about the things that we face, the challenges that we have. Being able to come together like that is an amazing feeling,” Donivan Cranfield, senior, said.
The BSA club hopes to bring more focus to the positivity of their culture.
“We want everybody to come and learn and just build up and not focus on the negative in the news and try to build a better environment,” Williams said.
The club is open for anyone to join and will welcome anyone who wishes to attend.
“It’s not just for black people, it is for people of all races to come and share their experiences and share the things that they deal with. It’s time for people to just understand people’s experiences and perspectives so that we can understand each other better,” Cranfield said.
Teachers are encouraged to attend the meetings to get a better understanding of their students as well.
“It’s important for educators to be a part of it and to hear what their students are saying and be a part of it and show that they are interested,” Mezo said.
This student association holds strong to their morals and values.
“Knowledge is power. We are focused on love, unity, and knowledge and equality, and equity. All of those things are important because we know they are issues for many of the students who come here,” Mezo said.
Out of all the events that the Black Student Association holds, the group is most excited and welcomes all to their Black History Month Showcase on Thursday, February 27th, from 5:30-7pm.    The Black Student Association meets in room 425 from 2:15-3:30 every other Tuesday.