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33rd Annual Black History Month Assembly

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Black Mother and the Story of the Rise of the Human Race

The significance of the role of Black women throughout history was told through inspiring spoken word, dance and song at the annual Black History Month Assembly, themed “Black Mother and the Story of the Rise of the Human Race,” held in the large gymnasium on February 27.

Sponsored and organized by the Black Student Union (BSU), with guidance from the group’s moderator and faculty member Tony Green and staff member Marguerite Green, this was the school’s 33rd annual celebration of Black History Month.

In opening remarks, Tony Green reminded students that researchers have proven, scientifically, that humans are all one people who originated in Africa – from Mitochondrial Eve – and that there is really no such thing as race.

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O’Dowd parent (Mahogany Morris ’22) and award-winning author and social justice scholar with three decades of experience in the areas of education, civil rights, juvenile and social justice, Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., was the featured speaker at the assembly. One of her books, Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century, is used in Tony Green’s African American Studies course.

She is the founder and president of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, an organization that works to interrupt school-to-confinement pathways for girls, reduce the barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated women, and increase the capacity of organizations working to reduce sexual assault and domestic violence in African American communities. She recently delivered a TED Talk centered on how exclusionary discipline impacts Black girls in the United States, and has written a book on the topic, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School.

“Everyone plays a role in this work,” Morris said as she extended a call to action to O’Dowd students.

“How will you participate in determining how, when and where you show up to demand that the recognition of Black womens’ narratives and social and political contributions become as main stream as the entertainment and culture we produce? How will you practice effective allyship by intentionally countering personal biases and violence of erasure that you may consciously or unconsciously participate in? How will you learn more about and uplift your personal practice of intersectionality and demand more from each of us individually and all of us collectively?,” she said. Watch her entire presentation

Also attending the assembly was former BSU member Dwight Taylor ’00, a motivational speaker and author who is currently helping launch a BSU at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento. He brought several of his students along to gain insight on how a developed BSU operates.

A community presentation of “Black Mother – The Story of the Rise of the Human Race” was to be staged on March 2.

Watch All Performances

Photos of Performance

Click photo thumbnail to view in slideshow THEN images can be right clicked and downloaded at 1024px wide by 768px.


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