Celebrating Black History Month: Angel Sousani-Twumasi shares her voice

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Photo by Angel Sousani-Twumasi

Senior Angel Sousani-Twumasi on Jan. 26.

This year, things have changed and traditions have faded. However, the annual celebration of Black History Month—a time filled with celebrations to embrace black people and their accomplishments—will continue in our community, especially thanks to the Black Student Union (BSU).

BSU connects Black students from all grades to create an inclusive and welcoming environment. They focus on providing opportunities for students in certain school events while preparing the school itself for future Black students, who can then feel inspired to join the community. One event hosted by BSU is the Black History Program, which not only honors previous generations of Black people breaking boundaries, but also highlights the talents and gifts of current Black students who may not have the opportunity to stand out elsewhere.

BSU is a community that is meant to bring together students who may be generalized to a certain image just based on their skin color. Their goal is to allow Black students to connect with other students of different backgrounds and upbringings, while coming together to celebrate the joy of being Black. It’s also a group meant for Black students to open up about experiences at Wootton and promote discussions to bring change.

Senior Angelique “Angel” Sousani-Twumasi, a passionate learner who loves to read, has been awarded the Posse Scholarship. The Posse program “identifies public school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential that may have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes,” according to program materials.

I think being at Wootton, I became more self-aware that I am seen as a Black girl before anything else and that I have to be extra conscious of acting in certain ways.”

Sousani-Twumasi has been in BSU for four years. In regards to her experience as a Black female at Wootton, she said,  “I wouldn’t say I have experienced racism at Wootton or any outward expression of hate. However, both the unconscious and conscious microaggressions were evident. I think being at Wootton, I became more self-aware that I am seen as a Black girl before anything else and that I have to be extra conscious of acting in certain ways.”

When reflecting on her personal response to judgmental peers, Sousani-Twumasi said, “I think my actions and successes in life are enough to respond to people who may have preconceived negative opinions about me.”

Sousani-Twumasi felt a strong sense of hope when Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn into office on Jan. 20. For young women everywhere, watching Harris become the first female vice president has been magical. A woman who shared similar dreams to young women today is now in the White House. “Like most people, seeing Kamala Harris become vice president gives me not only hope but gratitude. She herself acknowledges the women that have come before and paved the way and now she joins that group of women,” Sousani- Twumasi said.

Harris is a symbol of both hope and unity to everyone. She is an inspiration for all women, but especially for Black and Asian women to aspire to be a part of the change for this country. Her being vice president allows little girls no matter what cultural background to see themselves in a space that they have not before.

 Black History Month should focus on the beauty and versatility of Black people. We always seem to look at all the struggles that have been overcome, however, “I believe that shifting attention to rather the present-day positive attributes of the Black community is significant,” Sousani-Twumasi said.