Recognizing Black History Month

In recognition of Black History Month, Whitfield’s Black Student Union (BSU) planned a special all-school assembly that was held Monday, February 28, 2022. The program featured Whitfield’s Upper School Choir singing “Lean On Me (with We Shall Overcome)” arranged by Mark Hayes, a rousing performance by the Gentlemen of Vision step team, a series of poems by Black influencers shared by members of the BSU, and several narrative readings by students. Click here to watch the video of the choir’s performance.

Director of Equity & Inclusion Anna Warbelow, who assisted with the logistics of the assembly, praised the student-leaders for their initiative and follow-through. “I was so impressed with the students’ creativity and commitment,” said Dr. Warbelow. “In our planning meetings and conversations, the BSU leaders were eager to design an event that would share and celebrate multiple aspects of Black culture, history, joy, and excellence with the Whitfield community. And I think they succeeded with a beautiful and powerful experience for everyone.”

Savannah Harris ’22 and Grace Wooten ’22, two leaders of the BSU, shared their reflections.

“I am really proud of what we accomplished. Everyone in the Black Student Union, which is a big group, was super enthusiastic about sharing their ideas for the assembly. The BSU leadership did its best to incorporate all of their ideas and make sure everyone's voice was heard. It was important to us to include both middle schoolers (and upper schoolers), because ultimately, they will be the ones to carry on the BSU legacy after the senior leaders graduate. They will continue to help their peers learn unique perspectives about Black history. As I shared in my introduction at the assembly, Black history is complex. I don’t want people to think it’s just about struggle—it’s also about celebrating the positive aspects of an entire culture.” Savannah Harris ‘22

“I feel like the Black community at Whitfield is really tight knit but because of the past two years that have been impacted by the pandemic, we may not all know each other that well. I feel like all of us getting together to create this program allowed me, allowed all of us, to get to know each other better. This was such a great opportunity to celebrate ourselves and our history and to remember all those who came before us. Thank you to all the BSU leaders for their efforts and for Whitfield for giving us this space to express our culture!” Grace Wooten ‘22. 

Whitfield’s Upper School Choir performs “Lean On Me (with We Shall Overcome)” arranged by Mark Hayes.
Lai Jeon Williams '24 shares a poem during the 2022 Black History Month assembly
Travis Green III '24 recites a poem at the 2022 Black History Month assembly.
Whitfield's Black Student Union at the 2022 Black History Month assembly
Savannah Harris '22 shares an introduction to the 2022 Black History Month assembly. The Upper School choir is behind her.
Kamiyah Jones '27 recites a poem during the 2022 Black History Month assembly
Gentlemen of Vision step team performs at the 2022 Black History Month assembly
Ellie Jick '23 and  Bryson Sutton '23 share a narrative reading during the 2022 Black History Month assembly