BSU, ASA Celebrate Black History Month

Allyson Bennett, News Editor

The month of February is Black History Month, and Union’s African Student Association (ASA), Black Student Union (BSU), Latin American Student Organization (LASO), and Caribbean Student Association (CaribSA) have celebrated this month through discussions, events, and dining hall takeovers.

“Black History Month is a reminder of the accomplishments and contributions from the Black community to the U.S. It is a reminder that I am special and that the things I can do can be ever lasting even if I don’t feel that way every day. As someone that had to embrace my Blackness, I can honestly say that Black History Month is a proud time for me,” Andrew “Dru” Alvez, the Chief Diversity Officer, said. “I hope that the campus community heads to as many BHM events as they can to learn about the culture and know more about the history of Black people in America.” 

The campus organizations, spearheaded by the BSU and the ASA, hosted discussions about current events and identity. At one event, “Defining Blackness” hosted by the BSU, attendees discussed how they defined blackness by discussing a Buzzfeed article on “black” cartoon characters and rated Black celebrities on a sliding scale to answer: “are you helping or hurting the black community?” Another event, Diasphora Wars organized by the BSU and the ASA, discussed topics like what it meant to be African versus African American, how accents from African countries were perceived in the US, and how African relatives perceived African Americans and Africans who lived in the US. 

Other events focused on activities rather than discussions; at one event, ASA on Ice on February 17, attendees listened to Afrobeats as they ice skated at Messa Rink. Afrobeats “is an umbrella term to describe popular music from West Africa and the diaspora that initially developed in Nigeria, Ghana, and the UK in the 2000s and 2010s,” according to Wikipedia. On February 21, the BSU did a “takeover” of Upperclass Dining Hall where the club played popular Black artists and served African American, Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and African foods such as Southern Cajun Spiced Roasted Chicken and Jamaican Beef Patties. 

A full list of Black History Month Events is below. The BSU meets on Wednesdays at 5 PM in the Unity Lounge in Reamer Campus Center, and the ASA meets on Thursdays at 5 PM in Unity Lounge as well. 

Black History Month Events – February 2023

  • February 2nd – Discussion on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Victoria Alexander
  • February 7 – “Diaspora Night: Hidden Figures in the Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latinx Communities.” Sponsored by BSU, LASO and CARIBSA.
  • February 9 – Latinx Dance Club presents “Honoring Black History Month through Dance”
  • February 9 – African Student Association (ASA) presents traditional African arts and crafts
  • February 13 – “Diaspora Wars,” a conversation on the African and African American Diaspora. Sponsored by ASA and Black Student Union (BSU)
  • February 17 – ASA hosts Afrobeats and African Music, games on ice, and more
  • February 21 – BSU takeover in Upper Class Dining Hall 
  • February 25 – BSU Seventh Annual Black Excellence Ball