Early in the twentieth century, a college student went to Washington D.C. to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation. Since then, the idea of Black History and the integration of African American studies has spread throughout the world. Carter G. Woodson, a college student at the University of Chicago, inspired millions of people, years later, to study and celebrate Black History.
One of our very own seniors, Alisha Mason, started the Black Student Union (BSU) in the spring of last year. Since then, the club has been busy. Last year the BSU helped distribute food for the non-profit organization, “I Believe in Me” and, recently, the club gathered about 100 toys for the non-profit group, “My Sister’s Place” in D.C. According to Alisha, the club hopes to make both of these service projects a tradition because of how fun they were for the students, and the extent of community outreach they were able to achieve. Alisha also hopes that the Black Student Union has made some kind of impact on the student body. She recognized the need for inter-racial discussion, “I’d like to think that the BSU has made an impact on students at SJCP. I think it has provided a comfortable space for students to talk about sometimes uncomfortable issues.” In her interview, she explained that black students should get the opportunity to see their culture appreciated outside of the classroom, and that by starting the BSU, she has inspired others to do the same.
Being an inspirational leader is in her blood, too. Alisha’s grandfather is the President of Federick chapter’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and has been for years. He taught Alisha many things, one of them being to be proud of black culture and history, and furthermore to share it with others. Alisha wants the students at SJCP to know that the faculty and staff are supportive of the interest of students, so they should not be afraid to ask for something new. Overall, Alisha wants others to know that if there is anything students are passionate about or interested in, they should bring it to Saint Johns.