To celebrate Black History Month in February, the McNeill and SAB community hosted the Black History Month Kickback. The event consisted of McNeill students celebrating and embracing African American excellence with amazing company, wonderful soul food, and an open mic session. The Student Advisory Board started the event by setting food up for everyone to grab a plate and enjoy their meals with peers and music to get the kickback started.
While we ate we watched the video “Hair Love” by Matthew Cherry, an animated film about an African American girl struggling to embrace her natural hair and beautiful locks. After everyone ate, students from the advisory board explained why Black History is so important to our backgrounds and to celebrate the month we have to acknowledge and appreciate the lives of African Americans who have endured struggle after struggle to get where we are at right now and who continue to overcome adversity.
To begin the open mic session, students from SAB began sharing their own experiences and views on what black lives and black history month has done for them in school or life in general. Students began sharing experiences, inspirational quotes, and even twitter posts, that relate to Black History Month or African American lives in general. After hearing many SAB members and students share, I decided to share my story about my high school teacher. The high school I attended was majority Latino and African American students, but surprisingly there was only one African American teacher. I consider my high school teacher one of the main reasons I attend college today because of the impact he had on me in such a short time. I explained that he was my mentor during all my high school years and he gave me a quote to live off, which is “Dreams to Reality.”
To finish off the kickback everyone got in groups and played games or just talked as a community to feel firsthand what Black History Month is about, surrounded by peers of all races celebrating as one.
Author Mohammed Aoga