Opinion: BBCHS Cultural Representation a Work in Progress

In school we focus on passing all of our classes, doing all of our homework, and making new friends. But do we really focus on the culture of our school? How many cultures are represented here at BBCHS? BBCHS has been a predominantly white school for quite some time. However there are other cultures that are represented here as well.

There are a lot of cultures represented here at BBCHS. But we don’t really acknowledge all of them. One culture that is represented here is the African-American culture. Recently, the school has started decorating the school during Black History Month. It is a great gesture to show diversity in the school, but what really took so long for them to start acknowledging Black History Month? Was it because of the recent killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd? Did they do it because they felt sorry for us during that time? According to Tatiana Jefferson, a senior at BBCHS, she believes that, “it’s kind of offensive that we’re just now celebrating Black History Month. African Americans have history and culture to celebrate like everyone else does. Part of me does think they did it just to say they support black culture because they really didn’t pay it any mind before people started saying something.”

I  agree with this statement. I feel like the school felt sorry for the students that were affected by those two recent killings and they decided it was time to now start celebrating Black Culture. It also makes me wonder if they just did it to make us happy. The school should do it because they want to genuinely show their love and support to our culture. Because then there would be more authenticity put into it. I believe that the school should have started celebrating Black History Month before these events even occurred. But another part of me really does appreciate their willingness to promote Black History.

Another culture represented is the Hispanic Culture. This year, the school decided to also show support to the Hispanic Culture during Hispanic Heritage Month. They even went the extra mile and dedicated a whole soccer game to the Hispanic Culture by allowing Martinez Tacos to come and provide food during the game. They also went along and decided to take a picture of all of the Hispanics that attend this school. But why are we just now acknowledging this culture when they have been around for ages? Especially when they started attending this school. I asked Saray Mendez, a senior at BBCHS, what her views and opinions were on the school celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. “They started putting the stuff up too late in the month,” she said. “It was almost over. I feel like it wasn’t really well thought out. I found it really offensive when they brought a Martinez Taco Truck to the soccer game. They were really playing into the stereotype. I hate that they call us Hispanic because we are not from Spain. I would preferably be called by where I’m from. I’m from Mexico so I want to be called Mexican.” As you can see, this had a huge impact on not only Saray but on other Latinx students as well.

One culture that has grown tremendously in this school is the Asian culture. The Asian culture hasn’t really been noticed or celebrated at all. Bernadette Bernadit, who is a junior at BBCHS and a member of the Asian culture was asked how she felt about BBCHS and their lack of representation and lack of celebration in the Asian culture. When she was asked this, she responded by saying, “It’s not represented or celebrated enough. We’re a smaller group. I wish they had a month or a week where they celebrated our heritage. I also wish they had a club for all of the different cultures to come together. I feel like they should also have a voice.”

The Asian culture might be a small group but they still deserve the recognition and the support for their culture just as much as everyone else. I absolutely agree with Bernadette. I agree that we should have a club where people of different cultures can come together and make a difference in the school. It would be a powerful movement and would cause a lot of bonds within the school between students.

There are many different cultures represented here at BBCHS. We as students can only show pride to our cultures so much before we step over any boundaries. So I believe that BBCHS needs to show more effort when it comes to celebrating the different cultures. Although it was nice to see more decorations for different cultures, I still believe that they should show more effort, especially to the smaller groups. Not only should there be definitions, but I believe they should incorporate some type of history lessons dedicated to the different cultures. It will cause the students to look at BBCHS as a school of equality. It will also make students feel more safer, comfortable, and appreciated. Almost all cultures, if not, all cultures are currently being even more demeaned and diminished as years go on. So in order to make the students feel comfortable in their own skin, the school should show more support and recognition to the culture of the school.