A wall of Black history and celebration greets those entering Loyalist Collegiate and Vocational Institute (LCVI) this month.
Weeks of work and planning went into an artwork by Grade 12 student Tanesha Duncan-Zulu, all in honor of Black History Month.
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“I really wanted black people to feel represented in Limestone,” says Duncan-Zulu. “And also just to plant a seed so other people can kind of follow what I’m doing next year and years after that.”
The LCVI student is also the urban school trustee for the Limestone District School Board (LDSB).
She brought the idea of a black history wall and collage-style artwork to her school administration.
“It’s a beautiful, powerful piece that celebrates black excellence, black culture, black bodies and it’s just wonderful,” said LCVI director Margaret Connelly.
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“We are so grateful to Tanesha for her leadership with this, it’s just an amazing, incredible piece that we can display in our lobby for all of our students to see.”
Duncan-Zulu says the feedback she’s received from her work has been exactly what she hoped for.
“I only received positive vibes from everyone. I have teachers coming in and saying ‘oh my god, this looks so good.’ »
According to the 2020 LDSB Student Census, approximately 4% of Limestone students identify as black, compared to 86% who identify as white.
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“Especially living in a predominantly white area, it’s very difficult to struggle with your identity,” says Duncan-Zulu.
“And when you see, you know, schools and administration looking after our students and going, ‘Hey, we see you’, especially with natural (art) hair… I really want to make sure that ‘they feel comfortable in their own skin and feel celebrated in their own skin.
Duncan-Zulu hopes seeing his artwork on display will encourage other LDSB schools to follow suit and become more actively involved in Black History Month.
For now, his tribute will remain at the LCVI to remind us that representation matters.
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