Pickerington students are preparing a series of events and celebrations in honor of Black History Month. Pickerington High School Central and Pickerington High School North are presenting the history of cultures and celebrating the achievements of different black nationalities from their student-run organizations.
Remember history. Embrace culture. Celebrate achievements.
That is exactly what Pickerington High School North students will do at the second annual Black History and Cultural Celebration program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb 2, in PHSN’s Performing Art’s Center. This free event is open to the public, but donations will be accepted to help fund future programs. This event also will be presented during the day Thursday so all students have the opportunity to attend.
Many students in the schools live in different cultures when they are at home. Once they are in school, they can feel pressured to “Americanize” themselves to prevent being considered different. This event counters that, with multiple first-generation students proudly taking part in this cultural program celebrating their heritage and cultural background.
“I am representing Sudan, which is where my parents are from,” said Roaya Higazi, senior at PHSN. “I am a first-generation child here when I go home, I switch to Arabic. I feel like I turn into a completely different person in this building than when I am at home. It is kind of nice to give people a taste of my culture and what I wear.”
Students will present a cultural fashion show: Fashions of Africa & The Caribbean, as well as music, spoken word performances and much more to bring light to the lives they live outside of school.
“I am taking part in the fashion show representing Eritrea, which is where I am from. It is awesome getting to share with everybody what I do when I go home and what I wear,” said Delina Daniel, senior at PHSN. “With the fashion show, we are able to enlighten people. A lot of people don’t know how beautiful the clothes that we wear are and the things that we take part in are.”
The Thiossane Institute also will perform. This West African Dance Company educates communities about their cultures through dance and music.
“As a first-generation child, growing up was way different with things such as our parents’ accents,” said Nidy Wagnac, senior at PHSN. “I could name a few times when I have been embarrassed almost when my friends couldn’t understand my parents. It was really awkward for me, but as I get older I realize just because we are different, just because my parents are different, I do not have to be ashamed about that. It is comforting at this point and I am really glad that I am realizing that. We are planting a seed and it is exciting to see.”
This program will allow for both education and entertainment, it will bring light to the cultures that live in our neighbors’ homes.
In celebration of Black History Month, PHSC Diversity Club has many different activities and programs for students to engage in each week. The activities are both in school and after school, including two open mics, two poetry slams, trivia, a door decorating contest representing prominent African-American people and moments in history, and a movie night featuring “Color of Freedom.” The Diversity Club will have Black History Month T-shirts for sale to wear during the month for $10.
Aside from the student activities, there will be student interviews on Tiger TV, where Central students will discuss what black history means to them and give background information on Central’s racial and ethnic diversity. There also will be daily quotes posted to Central’s Multicultural Diversity Club’s Twitter Page.
The visual aspects of their activities include an ancestry map and the Black History Month mural. The map will be posted where students will have the chance to share their family’s racial and ethnic heritage. The mural celebrates the history and heritage of the Civil Rights Movement and achievements of famous black Americans.