BSU’s Door Decorating Contest Pushes Students Creativity to Celebrate Black Excellence

Coach Randolph serves as BSU Sponsor and School Climate Advocate and helped coordinate the Door Decorating Contest

Black Student Union is hosting their annual Black History Month Door Decorating Contest at Taft Charter High School from now until February 17th in order to spread awareness of Black figures and African American culture through artistic collaboration. This year, the posters will be centered around academic excellence, and students are encouraged to incorporate the theme onto their advisory teacher’s classroom door.

Black Student Union is a club at Taft dedicated to educating students about the history and culture of the African American community. BSU was created with a “vision of inclusion” and desire to promote Black excellence.

This time of the year is particularly important for BSU since Black History Month is an excellent way to acknowledge the contributions of Black figures across America.

During the weekly advisory period, students and teachers are asked to decorate their classroom door in any way they like. Everyone is expected to follow a criteria set by BSU.

The theme BSU chose for 2023 is academic excellence. The goal for students is to create a door that shows academic excellence in the Black community. Also, students will create the poster based on the school subject of their advisory class. BSU created this theme with the hopes of establishing a bond between students and their advisory teachers.

“We felt like it was a good way to merge everybody in with what we wanted to get across…” Mr Randolph, the football coach and BSU representative, said. “…and making sure that during that process you have a teacher that’s talking to you about their passion and you have students that have an opportunity to learn outside of our traditional names like Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X and Jackie Robinson.”

When asked about how the winners are going to be chosen, Mr. Randolph explained that BSU is hoping to make the contest more competitive than last year and there will only be one winner. The winner will be judged mainly on creativity and originality, similar to the criteria from last year.

“Some of those winners, even the ones that didn’t win, they were able to expand in ways that we didn’t even see as an option. You know there was some artistic ingenuity there that we did not have planned, but they brought that to the table.” Mr. Randolph added.

According to Mr. Randolph, the idea for the contest came from Ms. Swinson. Thanks to the help of the Executive Council, BSU was able to carry out the idea. Due to the success from the previous competition and the schedule changes for homeroom, BSU was able to expand on the contest. BSU intends to continue this Taft tradition for the upcoming years.

If students are interested in other ways of getting involved with Black History Month, Mr. Randolph suggests that students attend Black Student Union meetings which are held every Thursday in D121. These meetings include weekly presentations by the Executive Council about various topics within the Black community. Black professionals from different fields may also visit these BSU meetings giving students a glimpse of how far African Americans have come in society.