FHS holds annual Black Heritage Celebration


Image courtesy of the Black Heritage Celebration 2021.

The promotional picture used to publicize the event on social media.

Katrell Readus, Reporter

The Black Heritage Celebration is an annual event held by Fishers High School to involve the community in the celebration of the Black community. The theme for this year’s event is ‘enduring and excelling,’ a theme that the students and staff involved with coordinating the event felt fit well when considering the circumstances of this year. 

“Our main goal is to highlight the accomplishments of black people, especially in Fishers,” junior, Nyah Duplessis , head of the Black Heritage Celebration Committee said. “Personally, … being a part of it  was important, being in a leadership role when it comes to FBL, in a predominately white, not only school, but district and city. I have always wanted to be a part of something that does showcase Black power and Black leadership.” 

The celebration has grown to become an event involving several students and community members, with this year’s virtual event attracting about 20-30 people per day of the event. 

“The Black Heritage Celebration is a tradition that has span over probably about a decade,” staff event organizer Renee Isom said. “[The celebration] was developed by parents in the community…who wanted to have a celebration during February that honored African American heritage, it started as a parent driven celebration, it was  very small, very tiny with probably four families, they would bring in their friend, their family, their kids maybe there would be about 30 people there.”

This event, one that has stood the test of time, has grown to be one of the Fishers larger school-lead events.

Due to COVID restrictions the event was virtual this year, and took place across three days in March, instead of its usual time in February, with each day spent discussing a different, but similar topic. The first of those nights, being  HBCU Night, time was split by presentations from 6 different historical black colleges and universities. The second night was Divine 9 night, where students heard form 5 of the Divine 9 sororities and fraternities. The third and final night, was a Fishers alumni panel, where attendees were able to hear from some of Fishers’ latest alums to ask and learn about what college life looks like, and how to handle it.

“The personal connection it creates for the black community was the biggest miss,” Isom said. “The fact that it is the only school event that allows the Black community to be fully represented. When you walk into the space it’s the Black community, not Black people in a predominantly white space. The comfort that a place like that provides is energizing and beautiful. I missed that.”

However, she was able to see some positives in this year’s event. 

With the event being virtual she said, “the way people engage virtually is just different, but in some way, that was good. Attendance was down, but we had this one-on-one connection with the HBCUs and Divine 9s that was so positive. I want to recreate that next year.”

Though the running of the event was taken over by a select group of Future Black Leader club members about 2 years ago, the event is still an event made for all students and community members.

According to Isom, the goal is for students to receive “a sense of community. I want them to have comfort and to know that they can come into a space and see people like them in the majority, and not feel like they’re the minority or marginalized group. But I also want them to get a sense of involvement and see their impact within what’s going on.”