Black History Month Assembly Educates and Inspires Visitation Students


Visitation’s Black Women Society (BWS) held their annual Black History Month assembly on Monday, February 26. This year’s performance focused on African American women in film. Many iconic figures including Hattie McDaniel, the first black performer to win an Academy Award, and actress Lupita Nyong’o, currently starring in box office hit Black Panther, were featured. As part of an awards show skit, BWS members highlighted these individuals’ accomplishments and their perseverance overcoming obstacles for women of color, a fitting prelude for the school’s March focus on this Salesian virtue.

The club’s moderator, Director of Student Activities Raynetta Jackson-Clay, shared how proud she was of the young women for their hard work. She said, “Each year’s Black History Month Assemblies are a little different; all I ask for the girls to provide are two equally important elements and they are education and entertainment.”

These two key elements were on display throughout the assembly, but especially during an incredible performance of Nina Simone’s “Blackbird” by Niani Benjamin ‘20. Niani said, “Many of these women stood and still stand as leaders and role models, setting the example for future generations that no matter their size, shape, background, or color, their goals are always attainable.”

BWS developed and rehearsed the skit not only during club meetings but also after school and on weekends. In addition to sharing videos of powerful speeches by Hattie McDaniel and Lupita Nyong’o, among others, the skit included information on stars Ruby Dee, Queen Latifah, Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson, Josephine Baker, Zendaya Coleman and Oprah Winfrey. BWS members channeled the talent and strength of these individuals as they presented awards to and performed as these women.

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