A wall of Black history and celebration is what greets those entering Loyalist Collegiate and Vocational Institute (LCVI) this month.
Weeks of work and planning went into an art piece made by Grade 12 student Tanesha Duncan-Zulu, all in honour of Black History Month.
“I really wanted Black individuals to feel represented in Limestone,” Duncan-Zulu says. “And also just to plant a seed so that other people can kind of like follow what I’m doing next year and the years after that.”
The LCVI student is also the Limestone District School Board’s (LDSB) urban student trustee.
She brought the idea for a wall’s worth of Black history and a collage-style art piece to her school’s administration.
“It’s a beautiful, powerful piece which celebrates Black excellence, Black culture, Black bodies and it’s just wonderful,” says LCVI Principal Margaret Connelly.
“We are so thankful to Tanesha for her leadership with this, it’s just an amazing, amazing piece that we can showcase in our front foyer for all of our students to see.”
Duncan-Zulu says the feedback she’s received from her work has been just what she was hoping for.
“I’ve gotten nothing but positive vibes from everybody. I’ve got teachers coming up and saying ‘oh my god, it looks so good.'”
According to the LDSB 2020 student census, roughly four per cent of Limestone students identify as Black, compared to 86 per cent who identify as white.
“Especially living in a predominantly white area, it’s very hard to struggle with your identity,” says Duncan-Zulu.
“And when you see, you know, schools and admin taking care of our students and being like, ‘Hey we see you,’ especially with the natural hair (art) piece…I really want to make sure that they feel comfortable in their own skin and feel celebrated in their own skin.”
Duncan-Zulu hopes that seeing her art piece on display will encourage other LDSB schools to follow suit and more actively participate in Black History Month.
For now, her tribute will remain at LCVI as a reminder that representation matters.
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