Every year, Visitation’s Black Women Society (BWS) celebrates Black History Month with an all-school assembly. For decades, BWS has honored the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans through compelling speeches, skits, and performances.
"It means a lot to have a community like BWS with traditions like the Black History Month assembly," said Neso Mere '22. "I feel more educated and empowered to navigate diverse environments with a confident sense of who I am."
This year's presentation explored the legacy of Motown Records: the most successful independent record company in history, and the first African-American-owned record label to achieve National acclaim. During a time when Black artists had very little freedoms, American songwriter Berry Gordy established Motown Records as a means to transcend racial barriers through the universal language of music. Gordy's vision birthed some of the most influential musicians of the 21st century including Gladys Knight & the Pips, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, and Stevie Wonder.
BWS members devote several weeks of club meetings, after school hours, and weekends to research, writing, and rehearsal. The club’s moderator, Director of Student Activities Raynetta Jackson-Clay, traditionally entrusts students with two tasks: educate and entertain. The student-led cast and crew did just that; BWS artistically infused a series of monologues with musical re-enactments of performances by the Jackson 5, the Temptations, and Diana Ross and the Supremes.
Visitation's Cultural Awareness Club became the Black Women's Society in 1983. The club's mission is to support and promote African-American culture within the Visitation community. BWS not only fosters cultural awareness and education through events and forums, but also coordinates community outreach initiatives; most notably the BWS Scholarship Fund which benefits an incoming African-American freshman each year.
Students, teachers, and BWS alumnae and parents all enjoyed this year's celebration of Black history and culture. Brava, BWS!