Ani Boghossian-James increases profile of African Americans with new club



courtesy of Beth Ericsson

The African American Culture Club poses for their yearbook photo.

by Kelsey Ward, Reporter

With less than three percent African American students on campus, it’s easy to disappear in the crowd. An opposite problem is in a mostly white school, as a subgroup, African Americans can get unwanted attention. The African America Culture Club is a solution to both of these problems.

Class of 2018 member, Ani Boghossian-James, is the leader of one of the newest clubs: The African American Culture Club, also known as the AACC (@lhsAACC). The club has about 30 members. 

Boghossian-James first came up with the idea in 2015 when she realized that she didn’t know very many of the African American students. Boghossian-James, along with Juniors Devin Barge and Charles Quansah, started the club.

The club focuses on learning about African American contributions to society in music, science, art, food and movies. Boghossian-James wants to get African American students better acquainted with each other, but anybody is welcome to join the club.

“There aren’t very many African American students at Linganore. The club is a great way to meet people and learn about our culture at the same time,” said Boghossian-James.

Mrs. Beth Ericsson is the advisor for the club. She approves activities and helps to keep the discussions on topic. She is currently trying to coordinate to have a guest speaker come to one of the club days.

“I believe that all students should have equal opportunities, and it is important to always find ways to help other people,” said Ericsson.

Each club day, Boghossian-James plans a game and an activity. She sometimes finds videos to watch or other activities for the club to do. The club meets on C club days.

“Mrs. Ericsson told me at the beginning of the year that the club was my responsibility. I do most of the planning,” said Boghossian-James.

The club talks about societal problems that are important and how they feel about them. They play games such as Kahoot and Black Card Revoked.

“Ani is a great leader, she really knows how to take charge and get everyone’s attention,” said Boghossian-James’ sister, Avé, Class of 2020.

Boghossian James, along with Ericsson, are planning a field trip to the new African American History museum on April 6.

“Ani is a great leader! She does a great job coming up with ideas for each club day and is very inspirational. She is an all-around wonderful human and wants to make a difference,” said Ericsson.

courtesy of Ani Boghossian-James
Ani performing acrobatic gymnastics.

In addition to leading her club, Boghossian-James is a member of the Pom and Dance team, the track team, and the National French Honor Society.

In track, her main event is the 55 meter hurdles. Her fastest time is 9.66 seconds for five hurdles. She placed seventh in the region in 2016. She hopes to continue running track in college.

Boghossian-James was an acrobatic gymnast for ten years. During this time she won numerous medals at the state, regional and national levels.

Her favorite subject is science, and she hopes to attend college and become a pediatrician.

“I was very proud that Ani recognized an issue and took a leadership role in creating this new club. Ani has a way of making people from different backgrounds feeel comfortable,” said Aida Boghossian, Boghossian-James’ mother.

February is African American History Month. The AACC shows us that African American appreciation is too important to be confined to just one month.