OPS, BSLC hold events to celebrate Black History Month

Dominick Bartels, News Writer

Since 1976, the United States began to dedicate the month of February to celebrating the heritage and culture of African Americans. Within Omaha Public Schools (OPS) and at Omaha North High, various events have been planned and carried out to celebrate Black History.

John Jackson, teacher and sponsor of the Black Students Leadership Council (BSLC) at North believes that Black History Month was considered an “afterthought” until BSLC was founded in 2016 at North.

“We want people to enjoy it with us because African American history…is also American history,” said Jackson.

On February 3rd, 2018, OPS held their annual African American History Challenge at North High School. Students from all around Omaha took part in the competition. The goal of the competition was to answer as many questions about African American history as possible.

According to Jackson, BSLC has planned a series of ‘educational yet fun’ events that will take place throughout the month of February.

Every day during the announcements, a member of BSLC will announce a fun fact about Black history to the school.

Throughout the month, there will be various “Spirit Days.” February 2nd was “Black Friday”. Students and staff were encouraged to wear black to signify unity.

February 9th was “70’s Day” Jackson said this day was intended to be “cool and soulful” and exhibit African American styles of that period.

February 23 will be dashikis and traditional African garments day. Students will be encouraged to dress in their favorite piece of traditional African clothing.

Jackson assured students of any race are welcome to participate, however racially insensitive outfits will not be tolerated.

On the 21st and 22nd, during A7 and B8, BSLC will put on a “Black History Month Program.” The daytime program will be approximately one hour. The full program will start at 6pm on the 22nd and end at about 8pm. Admittance to the full program will cost four dollars for adults and two dollars for students.

For an hour prior to the full program, exhibits that encompass Black history will be on display as well as a bake sale fundraiser for BSLC. Baked goods will also be on sale immediately after the program.

For more information regarding BSLC’s events during Black History Month, see their display across from the curriculum center.