Putting the spotlight on black history


Photo provided by: Vinette Young

Students present their entry to the Black Student Union’s (BSU) door decorating contest. The doors celebrate Black History Month, honoring the historic achievements that generations of African Americans have made.

Delaney Rosenblatt, Staff Reporter

On Feb. 15, Black Student Union (BSU) sponsor Britney Lacarte announced the winners of the first annual Black History Month door decorating contest. Although spirit weeks have sparked many other door decorating contests, this competition encouraged creativity, awareness and education.

“I thought about this idea with the help of Mrs. Lacarte, Cybile Lafaille and Enja Jean,” BSU president and senior Bradley Robertson said. “I hope by doing this contest it not only highlights the impact of the Black community in academia, but also to educate others about a person or a group of people that they may not be familiar with.”

Not only did the BSU plan the door decorating contest, but they also planned weekly lunch events where they invited members of the community to speak about their experience in certain careers, including journalism, law and health. 

There were many category winners in the door decorating contest, including Mrs. Riggs, who won ‘Most Creative’, Mrs. Hoggard, who won ‘Most Spirited’ and Dr. Resnick, who won ‘Most Educational.’ Resnick’s door featured information on Toussaint L’Ouverture, a Haitian general and the leader of the Haititan Revolution. 

“I teach AP European History and the Haitian Revolution takes place within European history,” Resnick said. “It’s often an overlooked event in world history. I think the doors help bring awareness to people that don’t normally get the spotlight.”

In order to properly display aspects of L’Ouverture’s life, Resnick encouraged students to spend time researching facts.

“To create the design, the class decided to show the French flag and the Haitian flag from that time period,” sophomore Mason Gold said. “We added research about L’Ouverture’s life, and pictures and maps from the time period of the Haitian Revolution.”

Other teachers took inspiration from marginalized black leaders, scientists and pioneers. Biology teacher Cassie Eiden featured Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were the first immortal human cells ever grown in culture. In addition, geometry teacher Lydia Morgan featured Katherine Johnson on her door, a mathematician whose work was crucial to the early stages of the United States space program.

We believe it’s important for teachers to acknowledge the contributions of African Americans especially in the field of education,” Robertson said. “Teachers showing their support empowers students at Lake Brantley to go above and beyond their line of thinking.”