Skyline students received a surprise after two actors visited the campus and led a film discussion on Feb. 21 in Building 6, Rm. 202.
In line of the Black History Month celebration, the Associated Students of Skyline (ASSC), the campus’ very own governing student body, hosted an exclusive screening of the film “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” (2019).
After the film, students were surprised when two actors from the film, Isiain Lalime and Jordan Gomes, who are known by their stage names Gunna Goes Global and Stunnaman02, showed up and led a discussion regarding the elements of the film.
In an exclusive interview, Gunna and Stunnaman were asked what they think the significance of celebrating the Black History Month every year is.
“I believe it highlights the importance of what Africans have done in America,” Gunna said. “When you look at the economic power that that exists today, it all comes from slavery.”
Gunna also said that celebrating the Black History Month allows appreciation toward black peoples’ presence and their historical significance to the fabric of this country.
For Stunnaman, he said that the celebration of the Black History Month is just essential.
“We are put in a detrimental position to not be appreciated for what we’ve done for the country,” Stunnaman said. “It’s essential to remind us how much we have, not to get swept under the rug, but to be brought to light.”
The actors were also asked how other people of color can support inclusiveness as one community, regardless of the difference in their ethnic backgrounds?
“What we can do is respect ourselves and respect others’ differences,” Gunna said. “When you talk about diversity, inclusion, and people helping each other, it all starts with respect.”
“The reality of it is, we should love it because it’s different,” Stunnaman said. “Once you do that, and get past that barrier: food, culture, language — Once you get past those barriers, we all feel like we all realize we’re the same.”
Students and guests were also given the opportunity to ask the actors’ opinions regarding present-day issues, particularly those having to do with gentrification.
Psychology major Bonnie Mendoza found the movie reflective of the plight of people of color in the Bay Area.
“The film was very, very insightful,” Mendoza said. “It talked a lot about gentrification, and the realities of the homelessness situation here in the Bay Area.”
When asked about how she feels about films and literature depicting the struggles of people of color, she said that those are necessary, to create awareness about what is happening around us.
Mendoza also said it would be beneficial if a lot of youth were more involved and more guided by the older generation.
“Whatever is going on right now, whether or not it’s going to be what we want, and where we want it to be, they (the youth) are the first ones who are going to get affected by it,” she said. “So they really need to be educated and guided in order to be engaged.”
On the following day, Women in Science & Engineering Represent (WISER) held an exclusive screening of the film “Hidden Figures” (2016), celebrating women of color, working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Other Black History Month events that have taken place include Leadership Skills Workshop with National Keynote Speaker, Ms. Raven Solomon, on Feb. 4, and the Black History Month Kick Off featuring Executive Director of the Equity Institute, Mr. Lasana Hotep, on Feb. 6.
The Learning Commons also hosted several events including The Green-Book Displays, which took place on Feb. 10; Natural & Crown Act Displays, which took place on Feb. 11; Poetry Reading on Feb. 18, which honored poets from the African-American community; and the Natural Hair Discussion, which took place yesterday, Feb. 26.
An event to look forward to is the Black History Legacy Into The New Decade, which will take place in building 6’s Fireside Dining Room on Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the speakers being Dean of Student Equity and Support Programs, Dr. Cheryl Johnson, TRiO Director, Mr. Michael Stokes, and language arts professor, Mr. Nathan Jones.