San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Santa Barbara Celebrates Black History Month

The First Annual Black is Beautiful Gala:

Several members of the San Marcos Black Student Union (BSU) were awarded $1,250 scholarships each at the first annual Black is Beautiful Gala. This gala, organized by Healing Justice Santa Barbara (HJSB), was held at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort on February 23 to “raise funds to support Black-led organizations and initiatives to help re-imagine our collected investment in community care,” according to the HJSB website. Recipients of the funds include The Saint Paul AME Church, Juneteenth Santa Barbara, Sojourner Kincaid Rolle Youth Artivism Scholarship, and the Community Emergency Needs Fund.

As a special surprise, members of BSUs from Santa Barbara, San Marcos, and Dos Pueblos high schools were awarded a portion of the fundraiser money to help pay for future college expenses. 

“It was a big surprise,” said sophomore SM BSU Vice President Hope Smith. “We didn’t find out until we received our awards onstage.”

Black Student Union members, such as Smith, attended the gala as volunteers. 

“It was really fun,” said Smith. “I worked at one of the main entrances and led people to the main ballroom and also checked VIP attendees into the event.”

Flier for the Black is Beautiful Gala (image courtesy of Healing Justice Santa Barbara)

The program was hosted by local performer and artist Vivian Storm, and featured performances from local groups such as the Inner Light Gospel Choir and the Santa Barbara Unified School District Honor Band. There was also a performance from the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Mu Kappa Chapter, the Black Legacy Awards, a raffle giveaway, and more.  

Not only did this gala fundraise money for local Black-led organizations, but it uplifted and celebrated the African American community here in Santa Barbara. 

“Since the 1940s the Black/African American community in Santa Barbara has been engaging in organizing and civic leadership,” said @healingjusticesb in a recent Instagram post. “Santa Barbara’s Black community members had a longstanding history of organizing around advocacy, equal opportunity, and safety for the betterment of Black lives.”


San Marcos Celebrates Black History Month

At San Marcos, the library is celebrating Black History Month, which spans from February 1 to March 1, by encouraging students to read books by Black authors. If a student reads a book by a Black author and writes a brief review of the book, they will be entered in a raffle. Ten students will win gift certificates to Lighthouse Coffee or Blenders. The last day to enter is February 29.

The San Marcos Library displays books by Black authors. Students are encouraged to read a book by a Black author and submit a review for a chance to win a gift card. (Noelle Cabrera)

Additionally, our Black Student Union recently held a presentation in E-9 during lunch in honor of Black History Month. The presentation included information about the beginnings of Black History Month, created by Carter G. Woodson, which started off as Negro History Week, and featured various Black figures in history. The featured people ranged from athletes and musicians like Colin Kaepernick and Bob Marley, to important political figures like Malcom X and Angela Davis. 

“To me, [Black History Month] means reflecting on the past and how it affects the present for Black youth and the Black community in America in general,” said junior SM BSU President Ava Allen. “Segregation and everything that happened in the past still affects the present today and BSU wants people to know that.”


Supporting our Black Student Union

The San Marcos BSU has been meeting three times each month, and previously put on a bake sale to raise money. 

“The bake sale went really well, we got about $150 from that,” said Allen. “We are going to use the money for t-shirts for our members so we are able to represent our club a little bit more.”

From left to right: Sophomore Hope Smith, freshman Zoe Rogers and junior Ava Allen pose at the Black is Beautiful Gala with their awards (Hope Smith)

Follow the San Marcos Black Student Union’s Instagram account @sanmarcos_bsu to keep yourself updated on events, fundraisers, and activities they will be involved in, and to show your support for their club, not only for the month of February, but year round. 

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About the Contributors
Noelle Cabrera
Noelle Cabrera, Editor in Chief
Noelle is an 12th grader at San Marcos High School. This is her fourth year on The King’s Page and she is now the Editor in Chief. Journalism is currently her favorite class and she is also a member of the San Marcos Ethnic Studies Club. Outside of school she volunteers with animals, is a member of the Youth Making Change Board and is in the Santa Barbara Chapter of GenUp.
Hope Smith
Hope Smith, Staff Writer
Hope is a sophomore at San Marcos High school. She has been writing for the kings page since freshman year and is looking forward to journalism the rest of high school. Hope loves writing, swimming, and listening to music. Her favorite subject in school is english.
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