Skip to main content

Carmichael Times

Mira Loma High Celebrates Second Annual Black Renaissance Day

Mar 26, 2024 01:22PM ● By Rishi Upadhyay, photos by Rishi Upadhyay

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

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - 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 High'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. 

In addition to students, faculty members including Principal Cletus Purinton were excited about this year's outreach impact for Black History Month through Black Renaissance Day.

"Black Renaissance Day is really about celebrating Black excellence," 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.

 This banner was part of the Black Renaissance Day celebration at Mira Loma High School.

"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.

"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. The ministry helps unsheltered individuals in need, and Berhanu Didanu, the founder, explained how the ministry achieves its mission.

"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 at, we now have every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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."

Rishi Upadhyay, a Mira Loma High School senior, is a reporter for, a Student Education Reporter program funded by the Sacramento County Office of Education