Mira Loma celebrates second annual Black Renaissance Day

Banner celebrating Black Renaissance Day at Mira Loma High School.
Banner celebrating Black Renaissance Day at Mira Loma High School.
Rishi Upadhyay

With Black History Month in full swing, Mira Loma High School spread awareness about it through its second annual Black Renaissance Day. Black History Month dates back to 1970 when Black United Students at Kent State University launched its first installment to commemorate important figures and events in the African diaspora. Since then, Black History Month has now grown to be a society-wide celebration. 
Mira Loma’s Black Renaissance Day, celebrated on Feb. 16, was inspired by the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, which promoted the intellectual and cultural revival of African American expression such as art and music. It featured educational experiences, activities, games, and art and musical expression. There were also several organizations present to increase awareness of Black history in the community. 


One example of a student’s contribution was a poster by Meg Cecile that highlighted the origins and clothing of differing East African countries. (Rishi Upadhyay)



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And while students toured the fair’s posters and artwork, music and commentary was provided by the Mira Loma B Sharps club. (Rishi Upadhyay)










In addition to students, faculty members including principal Cletus Purinton were also excited about this year’s outreach impact for Black History Month through Black Renaissance Day.
“Black Renaissance Day is really about celebrating Black excellence,” principal Cletus Purinton said. “We’ve done a lot of work over the last eight years since I’ve been here as an administrator to try and bring more awareness and recognition to our Black community.”
Purinton said it’s important for Black Renaissance Day to have an educational element.
“We recognized a few years ago that we wanted to do something more similar to what we do for Asian Culture Festival, for Día de Los Muertos and make this an educational experience, not just celebrating Black History Month,” Purinton said. 
Even though this year’s event was successful, Purinton said it could grow to make an even larger impact.
“What we’ve learned is that we have this really big vision of what this day could be, and I think ultimately it’s an opportunity for us as a district; when we have all of the Black Student Union (BSU) clubs here, it’s an opportunity for a united front where everybody comes together and celebrates,” Purinton said.
Black Renaissance Day was not limited to students and faculty. The Sacramento Public Library participated, with archivist James Scott as a representative. 

The Sacramento Public Library participated, with archivist James Scott as a representative.
(Rishi Upadhyay)
















“Our table is basically library content that reflects the African American students in Sacramento,” Scott said.
The library, he said, has Black history resources beyond those offered at Black Renaissance Day. 
“We have a series – ‘Black Histories of the Pacific’ – that talks about the African American relationship with the Pacific Ocean,” Scott said, citing one example. 

Mercy Holistic Ministry also participated in Black Renaissance Day. Mercy helps unsheltered individuals in need, and Berhanu Didanu, the founder, explained how the ministry achieves its mission (Rishi Upadhyay)













“Here in Sacramento, we have a local homeless community,” Didanu said. “They do not have access to any shower. That’s why we have a portable shower for them … we have a free haircut as well. We also connect them with job opportunities. We have three partner companies. If you go to our website, we now have every Saturday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Our main goal is not just giving them a shower, but changing their lives.
“Anybody can volunteer, whatever talents they may have. Anything is helpful for our communities; if we are collaborating, then we can make change.”



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    James ScottMar 1, 2024 at 10:55 am

    Terrific article. The Sacramento Public Library loved attending the Black Renaissance Fair and looks forward to being part of it next year. Thanks so much to the students and faculty at Mira Loma for helping keep the history of Sacramento reflective of the experience of all Sacramentans.