Students Reflect on Black History Month

Black History Month October 2020

For Black History Month we asked students who inspires them. Their nominations have been bought to life by portraits created by JCC art students.

Shawnalee a Birmingham Theatre School student has nominated Chadwick Boseman:

When Black Panther debuted in 2018, it meant the world to me as a Black woman of Nigerian descent. The film was a huge first, not just in my life, but in the span of cultural moments. It was a reminder of Africa’s heritage, and its Black kings and queens, and gave the African community a global point of pride. As a Marvel movie, it was also required viewing for millions across the world; as such, I saw a shift almost immediately in how the world saw my people.

Chadwick Boseman was a superhero on screen in Black Panther and, as it turns out, a superhuman off screen as well; he battled cancer privately while filming one of the most iconic African characters in movie history. His death on Friday 28th August 2020 hit us hard, especially the Black community. Sports superstars such as Lewis Hamilton and LeBron James, among others, honoured him with a “Wakanda Forever” salute over the weekend in a tribute to his legacy.

One of my favourite quotes by him is. “Rather find your purpose than a job or career. Purpose crosses disciplines. It’s an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on this planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfil.” Chadwick showed us that we can be the heroes of our own story. He showed us that we’re all capable off changing the world. And that’s what we’ll forever remember him by. May his soul rest in peace.

To accompany Shawnalee’s nomination, Heebah Hussain has created this fantastic and beautifully detailed portrait

Student creates logo to demonstrate commitment to anti-racism

Another element of Black History Month was for students to design a Black Lives Matter logo. The final logo will be used in Student Council resources to show commitment to the Black Lives Matter global movement and to anti-racism. It will also be made into badges which will be shared with students via the council.

Asfa Batool has created this bold and eye catching design

Historic news from the United States

The final element of Black History Month has been in response to the election news from the United States. In November 2020 Kamala Harris was elected US Vice President-elect. She is the first female, the first Indian American and African American to take this role. Kamala studied political science and economics before completing a law degree. She has worked as a District Attorney, Attorney General and US Senator. We have commissioned a portrait of Kamala Harris to recognise this historic moment. In her victory speech Kamala said:

“We the people have the power to build a better future.”

Hakeem Khan has created this brilliant digital portrait