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Prep celebrates Black History Month

This February, Prep students celebrated Black History Month in a number of thoughtful and interesting ways both in and out of the classroom. These student-driven activities and experiences speak to the leadership and initiative shown by our student body every day.

Courtney B. Vance on campus
Prep’s Black Student Union arranged for Tony and Emmy-winning actor Courtney B. Vance to come to campus and speak to a packed Miller Theater full of students, staff, and faculty of all races. He talked about what it means to be black in America, the challenges that presents, but also the opportunities and responsibilities—particularly those that come from a private school education like that offered at Prep or at Detroit Country Day where Mr. Vance attended.

“Go out into this world and get ready for your future and teach. Get ready to teach folks how to do this and how to take control of your power. You have the power you just have to take control of it and stop waiting for somebody to tell you what to do.” —Courtney B. Vance

BRIDGE and the Flintridge Prep Community Orchestra present "Lift Every Voice and Sing"
BRIDGE: Belonging, Respect, Inclusion, and Diversity Grounded in Equity, the newest of Prep’s Big Five clubs joined forces with Mr. Allen and the Flintridge Prep Community Orchestra to celebrate Black History Month by arranging and recording a performance of "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Cameron Paxton ‘24 of BRIDGE has this to say about the performance:

“Poet and activist, James Weldon Johnson, composed the poem Lift Every Voice and Sing in 1900 in commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. James’ brother, John Rosamond Johnson, wrote accompanying music to be performed. The hymn chronicles the struggle for equality for African Americans, particularly following post-Civil War Reconstruction, and honors the collective strength and perseverance of those in the Civil Rights Movement.
‘Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.’
Today, Lift Every Voice and Sing remains an anthem for all who join in solidarity to fight for social equality everywhere.” —Cameron Paxton ’24

BSU reflections on Black History Month
Members of the Black Student Union (BSU) undertook a project to write a series of reflections on what Black History Month means to them and how Prep and specifically the BSU has shaped their experience. 

“Sharing a story and having people relate is like a breath of fresh air. You know you’re not alone. BSU has been an outlet for me and so many others at Prep.”—Caydence Acker ‘25

“BSU is our small community in Prep where we can laugh and smile. There’s no force acting upon us to bring us together, it just feels natural! I’ve learned so much from BSU, whether it’s presentations on affirmative action or how to become comfortable talking to my upperclassmen.” —Hiwot Fasika ‘25

“Black History Month is a wonderful time to call attention to the value of ancestry. Though our recognition of the persevering qualities and near invincibility of the Black community is essential and worthy of our focus during this time, it’s crucial to make sure that our regard for Black narratives isn't limited to their pain.” —Halia Benn ‘24