I went around campus yesterday and asked non- African American students a question: Why is it important that BenU celebrates Black History Month? That question was not answered right away.
One non-African American male BenU student wondered why African Americans deserve a whole month? So many other groups are oppressed, he said.
He went on to add – We are all thinking it, but no one wants to say it to the newspaper because it’s social suicide.
Another part of this month’s celebration, ‘Wear your hair natural’ day, is expected to be February 11th. A female BenU student made a comment on her confusion over why African Americans need a day to encourage them to wear their hair natural. She wondered, why can’t they feel like they can wear it every day?
“To this day we (African Americans) are bullied, looked down upon, and stereotyped,” stated Black Student Union President Keewaun Stokes. “One hundred and fifty four years after the 13th amendment, fifty four years after Jim Crow laws, 11 years after our first black president (and) America still has an issue with black people. If you have an issue with blacks expressing their culture/love for themselves, ask yourself, am I racist?”
Both students wished to stay anonymous because of their issue/confusion over the event planning for Black History Month.
Many non- African American students though did give positive quotes when asked why is it important that BenU celebrates Black History Month.
“They deserve more than a month. The only way to learn about their culture and be accepting is to go to these types of events,” said Anush Ahmed, Graduate student (MSIP).
“Our University is committed to engaging ongoing dialogue, providing programs, implementing training initiatives and most of all remaining involved in eliminating the barriers that prevent or prohibit a culture of inclusivity, compassion and mutual respect,” said President Charlie Gregory in a September 2018 email.
If you would like to find more ways to participate in Black History Month, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward any thoughts to the ideal groups on campus. Here are some events going on this month and more information will be released soon:
-BSU Movie Night The Hate You Give: February 7th at 7pm in Krasa 050.
-Next Black Student Union meeting: February 12th during the common hour.
-Love and Excellence Ball- February 16th (tickets on sale now)
-Trap Jeopardy: February 18th (with black history)
-“Finessanomics”: February 28th (learn how to ‘finess’ a job interview, dealing with finances, etc.)