BSU is More Than a Club, but a Celebration of Black Culture

Ansley Kang, Features Editor

1986 was the year that Black History was officially celebrated and recognized as its own month in February. This month’s purpose is to remember and recognize important figures that played an important role in Black history, and it is a time for Black families to celebrate their culture together. Many celebrations in our own city have been hosted in honor of the month. LO for LOve, a non profit organization dedicated to spreading diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) have organized Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations to commemorate the impactful legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was an important black figure during the civil rights movement. Along with LO for LOve, the Lake Oswego Public Library will be holding Black History Month (BHM) celebrations throughout the month of February.

  Here at Lake Oswego High School, the Black Student Union (BSU) has dedicated their club to celebrating Black culture and history all year round. Members of the BSU have shared their personal favorite aspects of Black culture and the things that set it apart from any other culture. BSU vice president Alanah Butler Coronado said, “It’s hard to really trace back where exactly we came from, I guess you would say because a lot of stuff was mixed up from the transition to the states for our ancestors. It’s interesting how we’re able to form a community and an identity, and really come together and bring ourselves up despite the oppression.” 

Sam Johnson, another member of the BSU talked about the community and relationships as their favorite part of Black culture. “Our sense of togetherness and love for each other is something really special,” The number of Black students here at LOHS is a small percentage, making the members of the BSU a very tight knit community. 

“There aren’t very many of us, so we want to stick together and be a full community, and be present at the school,” said Johnson. To Butler Coronado, BMH is important because “It feels like a way to acknowledge the figures and the people that have done good for the black people in the black community. It’s a month to highlight and thank them.” 

Margarett Jarquin, the ASB DEI director, explained the importance of inclusion and affinity clubs like BSU around the nation. “When you talk about culture and you show people how beautiful or special and different and cool people’s different cultures are, and show different sides to your friends who may be a part of a different culture, people can see the beauty of humanity.” 

Despite the positive response from the community after shifts to inclusion, Jarquin believes that there is still room for improvement in our community when it comes to diversity and inclusion. “I wish that within all of our classes, not just an English class with a book, would incorporate more diversity. Maybe a science class or a ceramics class, but I wish it was really put into our curriculum, and that it wasn’t just a book of a month that happens to be written by a Black author.” 

Although many elements of Black History have been painful for the community, Butler Coronado believes that “although bad things have happened, good has come from events in our past which makes it beautiful.” Johnson also emphasized the presence of his culture in the community and nation. “This club is showing that we’re here in this country, and we’re here to stay, and that we’ve done a lot for it.”