Celebrating Unity and Diversity: FCHS Reflects on a Powerful Black History Event
As a new member of staff at Finchley Catholic in September, I was excited to witness the vibrant celebration of diversity at the Black History Month celebration event held last Thursday. Studying History at university taught me the importance of viewing history through different lenses; Black History Month serves as a valuable instrument for broadening our perspective and enhancing our nuanced understanding of shared history. It is imperative to understand that Black History Month is not exclusively for one group but is an opportunity for all of us to learn, appreciate new cultures and build an inclusive community.
The event was powerful and featured not only delicious and unfamiliar foods but also inspiring talks from two phenomenal female speakers: Celia Osuagwu and Noella Fosang. Additionally, two female students showcased their voices in solo performances and it was wonderful to see new students in the Sixth Form actively participate in whole-school events such as these. The powerful spoken word poetry performance of a Maya Angelou poem also added an extra emotional element to the evening.
Prior to the event, I was very ignorant to the various activities and lessons that students at FCHS engage in to acknowledge Black History – specifically during the month of October – and it was interesting to learn some new information from the students themselves. The active participation of young people (the majority of whom were in Year 7 and Year 8) on a Thursday evening speaks volumes about their enthusiasm to celebrate Black History and demonstrates the clear impact of this event on their understanding of cultural diversity.
It became evident that such events play a crucial role in shaping not only individual attitudes but also the collective mindset of the school community. This year’s official theme, ‘Celebrating Our Sisters’, was skilfully conveyed and I believe it is a particularly important message to celebrate in an all-boys secondary school. I strongly recommend marking your calendars for this event next year – it is truly not one to miss!