Tshaka Campbell concludes the celebration of Black History Month at WSP

by Sohei Wu, Dylan Lee, and Elowyn Ingler

The Waldorf School of the Peninsula, mostly through High School Announcements periods, honored Black History Month 2021 throughout February with various activities. There was a commemoration of Black people in history through the writing of many Black figures’ names in chalk along the sidewalk of Rengstorff Avenue and the writing of haikus about these people. These haikus were then written on lanterns and hung down the ceiling of the hallway. Poems were recited, and quotes were hung up along with the haikus throughout the hallway, but with the end of February comes the end of Black History Month 2021. 

During the last Wednesday High School Announcements period of February 2021, the Student Council concluded the observation of Black History Month.  The high school was lucky to hear from Tshaka Campbell, a Black musical artist, and writer who generously offered his time.

The Student Council opened with a recitation of several quotes by influential Black figures in history, including some from Barack Obama, Malcolm X, and Yvette Clark. This selection of quotes was taken from the many quotes from Black people in history that had been hung in the hallway on campus at the beginning of February. 

After that, Student Council members Camille Majzun and Shir Toledo introduced the guest speaker, Tshaka Campbell. Mr. Campbell is both a poet and a musician who began writing poetry in an attempt to find his voice and point of view. Soon, he became a performer, showcasing his work internationally. He is recognized as an accomplished artist and his performance accolades include but are not limited to being a member of the Nuyorican national poetry slam team, being a member of Da Poetry Lounge slam team, and earning Grand Champion titles in San Francisco and Hollywood. In 2010, he was also honored with the UK Unsigned Artist award in Poetry. Mr. Campbell has toured across the globe, featuring at notable venues such as the legendary Apollo Theatre and the O2 in London, England. He says he continues to be inspired by the struggle of life, the uncertain certainty of the universe, and what it chooses to hand you. 

Mr. Campbell then shared several poems with the school. In between poems, he talked about his poems, his life, and his experiences. Throughout his time with the school, he touched on themes of police brutality, being black, his own identity, and privilege. He truly touched everyone’s hearts and many tears were shed.

The Student Council closed by restating and refreshing the ideas of Black History Month and what it stands for. A moment was taken to acknowledge that the lessons of Black History Month provide a way forward by examining the past. 

Black History Month is not the only time for people to acknowledge and learn about the contributions Black Americans have made to this country, so we move forward and continue to learn and reflect. The impact of Black Americans does not end with Black History Month. 

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