2021 Black History Month Video coordinated by Jaden Graham '21

Jaden Graham '21
February marks Black History Month every year.  This year, I wanted to do something meaningful, something that could involve the voices and diverse perspectives of members within our Davidson Day community, so in December, I set out to plan an extracurricular project that would culminate in a video produced and then shared and discussed by our Upper School during this year’s Black History Month. 

Here’s the video: https://youtu.be/bisY2rJxbV8
I think it’s important to highlight why I chose to do this, and how I completed the project.  

In 2020, we all saw the unequal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic within minority communities, the visceral video footage of far too many displays of systemic racism and injustice, and subsequent peaceful protest movements in cities across the county.  

I believe that we all deserve--that we all need--the time and space to listen to the voices and stories of the black members of our communities.  So I set out to interview 18 members of our community--students, faculty, staff, administrators, coaches, and alumni--to hear their stories and perspectives about Black History.  

“After Black History Month is over, people aren’t really talking about it and we should be learning more about African American stuff in school,” said Tomiwa Akingbade ‘28 in the video interview.  

“Just as we learn years and years of American History within our school system, I believe the same should go for African American History. It has enough history to be its own subject and to be its own class,” said Makayla Tejeda ‘20 in her interview for the video project.  “Instead, within our school systems, it’s usually a chapter, a week, or maybe a month,” she said.    

My project culminated in our video production being shared and discussed during Upper School Advisory on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.  But my hope is that this video is not the end of a project, rather, the beginning of an ongoing conversation in our community about the rich and robust history of black people in our communities.