By: Rose Lu
The beginning of February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a month dedicated to recognizing the role of African Americans and their contributions to America. BSU (Black Student Union) commemorated Black History Month by performing last Friday at the L-Building during third and fourth period during their 3rd Annual Black History Month. The show featured guests such as writer Prentice Powell and the San Jose State Dance Team. Students were encouraged to come if teachers allowed them to.
Black History officially began in 1976, where every February was acknowledged by the US Presidents to be designated as so. However, the idea emerged in 1926, and was created by Historian Carter G. Woodson and the ASNL (Association for the Study of Negro Life and History). The second week of February was coined as ‘Negro History Week.’
“Black History Month is to honor the contributions of African Americans to American Societies. It is also to honor the inventions and talents they contributed,” shares BSU Advisor Cerissa Phillips.
In honor of Black History Month, BSU has decided to perform an African American dance, Stepping. The dance combines movement and sounds to turn their bodies into instruments. Stepping is used to represent unity and pride for one’s group.
“Stepping is a part of our culture and it shows what our ancestors used to do,” shares freshman Tionee Funk.
Stepping has had a long history. It was influenced by another form of dancing called the Gumboot dance, which was often performed using Wellington boots and used to communicate between another person a short distance away.
This year, BSU is continuing its legacy to show their pride and history during Black History Month. They have practiced every day at lunch from Jan. 27 to Feb. 6.
“I felt nervous because I never performed for people like that, but I felt really good during our practices so far,” says freshman Landon Brown.
They wore all black outfits with white shoes to show their unity as a group.
“We wore a black hoodie, black jeans and white shoes so that we can match and be one,” continues Tionee.
Alongside their performance, BSU will be highlighting the contributions of African Americans by sharing facts about their achievements during the announcements for February. By doing so, they bring awareness and highlight their impact on society.