A Deeper Look into the 2021 BSU Performance


Advertisement for the BSU showcase 20201 found on official Instagram @ocsabsu.

AnnaBella McGinnis, Reporter

Since the tragic and unlawful death of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, racial injustice has brought pain to those who suffer because of it and opened the eyes of those who don’t. In the most tense racial political climate since the 1960’s, America has taken a deep look in what flaws it still upholds. While people with large platforms are bringing awareness to the masses in millions, we must not forget where the discussion starts: in school.

Here at OCSA, our relatively new Black Student Union club (established in 2018) has always worked to bring the same awareness to our small communities in Osceola County and beyond. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dedicated members of BSU have not let that stop them from sending their message of positivity and truth in the form of what this school does best: art.

The BSU club will be holding their annual Black History Month showcase at the end of February. While maintaining safety precautions such as limited seating, social distancing and mask requirements, BSU’s members have taken the opportunity to bring a voice to both the pain this year brought for people of color and the love that surrounds their community. This showcase, unlike any in previous years, will have the center of attention on performances addressing Black History Month as a celebration, while their traditional fashion show will only be a feature in terms of the big picture.

“Our message hasn’t changed,” stated Ruby Theodore, the leader (and co-founder) of BSU. “It’s just that this year, of course we have to change the way have our performance to keep everyone safe from COVD. But BSU has always worked to bring this awareness to school. While we want this discussion to carry on outside of OCSA, its gotta [sic] start somewhere, right?” Both the arrival of COVID-19 and the rise in global discussion around social injustice have created an even bigger drive for BSU to create a performance that will impact those who see their art.

In 2019, the club’s members were faced with a number of obstacles that came between their show and the message they set out to deliver from the beginning of BSU. Alena Fenton, an 11th grade member of the BSU, explains from her point of view what the club has had to face when putting on their ideal performance. “Last year (2019), the performance was held in charge by recital, which meant we did not have as much control over it as we would have liked. On top of that, we were told last minute that we were allowed to have our Black History Month performance, giving us not a lot of time to put it all together.” She added on that since this year, recital in our school has been canceled across the board, which ironically gives the club more freedom to put together what they want for their show without as many restrictions.

“The lack of time also played a roll in how the performance turned out to be, which was just a fashion show.” Alena continued. “I personally feel we didn’t get to address other topics regarding Black History Month the way we fully wanted, and that’s something we kept in mind when putting together the show for this year, as we want the fashion show to not be the main focal point of the show, but rather just a feature.” During the interview with Alena Fenton, the points she made brought out bigger discussions about what Black History Month is and the importance that it holds in America’s history. While the fashion show alone brings discussion on the Black influence that is prominent in pop culture (i.e. music, fashion, etc.), the show this year will discuss the deep rooted pain that has come from the ugly truth in our nation in the form of brutality, systematic racism built in the law, and day to day actions that carry sinister meanings.

Many of the members of BSU had wanted their show to resemble how Hispanic Heritage month is handled and celebrated at OCSA. Both are equally as importan, but the two performing arts events that center around these months are obviously handled differently when it comes to aspects of advertising, planning, and constant smaller celebrations during the month that built up the big performance.

Hispanic Heritage has been time and time again been given the love and attention it deserves while Black History Month just doesn’t get treated the exact same, unintentional or not. While there may not be a racist agenda within the school’s handling of BSU’s Black History Month, these are the small things that should be examined when looking to learn and understand what it is that the people of color in our nation are trying to get across. With that being said, it is of course encourage for those who can safely travel to come see the showcase at OCSA, which will be held on February 26th, 6 p.m. More information regarding the show will be updated weekly on BSU’s Instagram at “ocsabsu.”