Black History Game Show club prepares for Des Moines competition

West High’s Black History Game Show team will compete on Jan. 24 in Des Moines.


Natalie Dunlap

President of Black History Game Show, Dasia Taylor ’21, tells her team what to expect at their competition.

Natalie Dunlap, Online Editor-in-Chief

Who earned the nickname Moses? What modern civil rights movement started in 2012? When did the emancipation proclamation go into effect? These are a few of the questions participants of the club Black History Game Show are preparing to answer. (The answers, in case you were wondering: Harriet Tubman, Black Lives Matter and Jan. 1, 1863). 

Dasia Taylor ’21 joined the Black History Game Show club at Southeast Junior High when she was in eighth grade. She loved her time with the group and looked forward to participating in highschool. Taylor started freshman year at Clear Creek Amana which did not have the club, but she transferred to West a few months into freshman and got involved with the club here. The seniors that made it fun for her that year graduated, leaving her to take over. 

“I loved it so much that I took over my sophomore year as well. So I was the president during my sophomore year and then transitioning into my junior year, I still have the role,” Taylor said.

She is preparing her team to face off against their rival, City High, and other schools at the I’ll Make Me a World conference for the Black History Game Show competition on Friday Jan, 24. West High hasn’t competed since 2018, last year they couldn’t participate because of the weather. For most of the club members, this will be their first completion.

Several members of Black History Game show spent their afternoon on Martin Luther King Day at the North Liberty Library, studying and playing balloon pop, a review game prepared by Taylor to bring the group together and review the material.

Members of Black History Game show prepare by studying a packet. Several players are assigned to one of five chapters in the packet.

Razan Hamza ’21 was encouraged to join and told by others involved, “it’s actually like something that’s fun to study for.”

Her teammates echo that sentiment, since content the team studies in Black History Game Show is different than what they learn in school.

There’s a lot more information about civil rights movements and really important people that actually did some really important things during the Civil Rights Movement. Stuff that we really didn’t hear about.

“There’s a lot more information about civil rights movements and really important people that actually did some really important things during the Civil Rights Movement. Stuff that we really didn’t hear about,” said Miriam Aguirre ’21.

Taylor says often when it’s time to talk about black history in classrooms, teachers touch on the same topics each year, without going into much depth. 

“I took American Studies my freshman year and it was just the same stuff about Martin Luther King, and the civil rights movement and all that stuff. And I was like ‘Okay, now let’s go deeper.’ Having the experience of being in the Black History Game Show, and having the chapters that we do, we have stuff that goes back into slavery back to Africa, the Motherland, and stuff that goes on in Iowa, but we never learned about that stuff in our curriculum, and I think we really need to do better with that,” Taylor said.

The club will put their knowledge to the test in just a few days, but Taylor doesn’t want the group to fall out of touch after the event and she has a plan to gather the team to bond over black history once again.

“I thought it was kind of messed up that we only see each other like once and we do this whole competition thing and then kind of go our separate ways. So, I’m organizing a trip to the African American Museum, later on in the year, so that we can all get reconnected and kind of rehash some memories and, you know, actually see our chapters in action.”