Black Student Union sparks change at Southside High School

Posted at 7:33 AM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 09:07:44-05

A group of students at Southside High School are making their voices heard with a new club.

One they hope will make a difference for minorities in years to come.

For Havan Pleasant, attending a predominantly white school hasn't always been easy.

"People always have this stigma towards black people, especially black women, of what we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to act like," she said.

And while she knew there was more to her than what some may perceive, she wanted a place to show that to others.

"A place for us to come and show education and standing up for what we believe in," she said. "We want to show our own bright and beautiful minds."

Havan and several of her friends got to work.

For a year they talked about starting a Black Student Union. And this year, they finally made it happen.

Despite crossing the mountain of getting their club off the ground, they're now facing another obstacle.

Getting others to see them as more than just a club for African-Americans.

The girls explain that the club is an inclusive one that invites students from all backgrounds to come together to share in the discussion about issues affecting minority students.

Their mission is to encourage cultural, social, and ethnic diversity on Southside's campus and in the community.

"You don't have be black to feel like you don't have a place to go to where you feel safe or feel like your differences are respected and embraced." Havan said. "That's why we started this club. Just because it was started by black members doesn't mean that black people are the only people that can take part."

The union aims to help in teaching others about diversity and show that through safe conversations and taking part in activities focused around acceptance and tolerance, they can gain an understanding of others while learning about heritage.

Their hope is that the club continues to thrive even after their time at Southside High comes to an end.

Related articles: Tools for Schools: Southside High


The Southside High Black Student organization is hosting its second Black History Month program on Friday, February 21.

Former Olympic medalist and current LCG Community Development Director Hollis Conway will be the guest speaker.