BSM hosts cultural presentation for Black History Month


Em Paquette

Varsity Speech Students in presenting in the Chapel.

Anna Geherin, Staff Writer

BSM held its first annual all-day Celebration of Cultures Presentation on Tuesday, February 26. This was a presentation to celebrate a variety of different cultures and display them in a unique way.

English teacher Ms. Maura Brew has been trying to organize something for Black History Month for many years. “By the time speech was up and running February is over, and it is was too late to do the presentation,” Ms. Brew said.

Brew decided this year she was going to get in connection with another couple of people to help make it happen. Ms. Lisa Lenhart- Murphy and Ms. Shane Sicsco helped Brew to create this collection of pieces. “[My goal was to] put together a program that would celebrate not just Black History Month, but extend the celebration to all cultures. Once I found a collection of pieces I wanted to present, I put together a program of literature that would reflect the diverse cultures of our country and also would showcase some key poets and writers of America,” Brew said.

Brew tapped into skills within the community to help present the pieces. “I called on a number of our varsity speech members who I knew would not have a problem with speaking in public and who I knew were very good and polished speakers,” Brew said.

Brew asked senior Kailyn Pedersen a captain of the speech team to add her impact on the presentation.“I am not exactly sure why I got picked to read the pieces, but I have a lot of experience in speech just because I am a captain and I have been in it for four years and I’m assuming that’s one of the main reasons she asked me to do it. I also think that because I am diverse I can really bring a unique perspective to some of the poems,” Pedersen said.

To ensure that all students could see the presentation, Brew collaborated with English teachers to free up their class period so that students could attend the presentation during class. “The English department was magnificent,” Brew said.

The English teachers were very supportive of Brew’s ideas and felt it was very relevant to the curriculums they were teaching.  “I brought it to the department and it was really up to them and they all stepped up and said absolutely,” Brew said.

After the positive comments on the presentation, many people have been left wondering if this event would be held again next year. “I think we would need to change up the program because people have heard it this year and you don’t want to repeat yourself,” Brew said.

I think that it was a really awesome opportunity for everyone to hear a lot of different voices and a lot of different cultures represented.

— Kailyn Pedersen

She added how demanding this presentation was to put together during the middle of the speech season. “I am just drawing for breath and we will see where we go from there but I was really pleased that it went so successful,” Brew said.

Many people enjoyed the Culture Presentation and felt it allowed them to learn about a variety of different cultures in a unique way. “I don’t think I would have changed anything about it, I think that it was a really awesome opportunity for everyone to hear a lot of different voices and a lot of different cultures represented. I’m glad that BSM did this for Black History Month because I think that these types of programs are super important to inclusivity and eliminating ignorance about things that are different from what we are accustomed to,” Pedersen said.