Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Spotlight: AMHS Black Student Alliance

Read for information on an essential part of the AMHS community

Black student unions began in the late 1960s on college campuses during the Civil Rights Movement. They were intended to be a place for students to come together to demand inclusion and awareness. The legacy has continued and expanded throughout the country to other colleges and high school, middle school, and elementary school campuses. Our school’s chapter is active in political campaigns, tutoring, nonprofits, and Meeting Street School, AMHS’s adopted school. It is headed by teacher advisor Ms. Akery and president Sofia Gillum. Sofia says that at a school with such a small black enrollment rate, the BSA makes the transition from middle to high school much more manageable. 

I think our club has given us a voice, and that has had the biggest impact on me.

— Sofia Gillum

Notable Speakers Throughout the Year

The club has had several impressive speakers come and talk to members throughout the year, all of which are notable and successful members of the black Charleston community. These speakers all come from a variety of different backgrounds and are involved in different industries. Debra Gammons is a professor at Charleston School of Law and was a mayoral candidate for the city of Charleston at the time of her speech. Not only did she come and speak to AMHS BSA students, but also hosted a trip for them to visit Charleston School of Law.

Members of the BSA on the field trip to the Charleston School of Law

Asiah Mae, the poet laureate of Charleston, also came in to speak to the club. Ms. Mae spoke about her journey with writing and her visions for the future. This is especially important because it includes current students in her hopes as they may one day be part of the creative future of Charleston that she envisions. Two black business owners have also come to speak to the club, Shanequia Washington and Mimi Striplin. Ms. Washington owns Zuriel Kingdom Collections, which handmakes earrings and African fashions, while Ms. Striplin is the founder of The Tiny Tassel, located in downtown Charleston. This store also handmakes clothing and jewelry. Both entrepreneurs shared valuable lessons of the work it took to start and grow their own businesses. Dr. Jamel Brown, a physician of internal medicine and pediatrics at MUSC, discussed  the diversity of the medical workforce and medical education. La’Sheia Oubre and Dr. Knight both spoke on cultural aspects of Charleston and black history. Ms. Oubre was recently featured in The Smithsonian in the February issue for her work on the Anson Burial Ground project, which combines culture, science, and history. This project is local to Charleston, and she touched on how her findings in this project connect to Charleston’s history as a whole. 

We say enslaved, not slave. Slave is a state of mind.

— La'Sheia Oubre

Dr. Knight spoke on the history of Charleston and the club’s upcoming trip to the International African American Museum. These speakers demonstrate to club members the various avenues to success that exist within Charleston and provide the opportunity for students to connect with mentors in their chosen field. This is just a sample of the many speakers that have taken the time to come and speak with AMHS’s Black Student Alliance. 


Black History Month 

The Black Student Alliance held a variety of charity, educational, and community events throughout the month to commemorate Black History Month. Kicking off the month, Ms. Oubre spoke about her work with the Anson Burial Ground Project. To help make a charitable impact, the club made hygiene bags for the Our Lady of Mercy organization, a group that assists local impoverished communities. To help spread awareness, the club decorated the bulletin board in the key at AMHS. It is entitled “Revolutionaries: What You Need to Know,” and highlights often overlooked black figures in the school curriculum.

They also disseminated information through their Instagram, in a story campaign entitled “Revolutionaries: What School Doesn’t Teach You.” This had a similar goal of spreading awareness of key black historical figures. To view this campaign or to find out other club information, the club’s Instagram handle is @amhsbsa_. In order to bring their club community together, the Black Student Alliance held a variety of student events. First of all, they held weekly giveaways, giving a member of their club a treat every Friday. On Valentine’s day, they passed out themed donuts to all of their members. And finally, Black History Month is concluding with an ice cream party this Thursday for all members.


I have loved being able to open new opportunities for my members, bringing in treats to brighten their day, and hopefully make them feel seen and appreciated 

— Sofia Gillum

The Impact

This club has both an internal and external impact through in-hall events and outreach projects. It furthers educational and service goals while providing an opportunity for members of a community to come together in a safe space. The club’s involvement in Meeting Street Schools is intended to pave the way for future AMHS students and open the doors to greater diversity. Black History Month is a great time to seek information on the historical and modern impact of and prejudice against black people in America, but it is not the only time that this information should be sought and discussed. The AMHS chapter of the Black Student Alliance does an incredible job of making it very easy to access and consume this information, and we want to recognize all of the work that president Sofia and every single BSA member puts into this organization. This article only spotlights a small percentage of the accomplishments of this club throughout this year. Below are some photos from throughout the 2023-24 school year. 


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    SKFeb 28, 2024 at 1:36 pm

    Beyond fantastic! Keep up the great work BSA!