We would like to thank all of the organizations, staff, faculty and students for allowing this year’s Black History Month events to be a success. The African American Student Alliance was the main contributor of the month, hosting its annual Blackout Week. The week included several events related to the black community such as a financing workshop, a gender role discussion and a classic backyard barbeque.
The main reason this year’s Blackout Week was successful was the type of events that AASA hosted. All the activities were not only fun, but educational as well. There was at least one activity each day.
None of the events took the students back to high school U.S. history where teachers taught about the Underground Railroad or Martin Luther King Jr. They all pertained to issues that the members of the black community face today, but do not always talk about.
For example the gender roles discussion involved men and women from mostly black backgrounds talking about their roles in the community. The touchiest subject that was brought up was homosexuality because homosexual black men are seen as a taboo.
Everyone was allowed to voice their opinion, debate and listen to different views on the same subject. Even the more educational subjects were entertaining. The Campus Activities Board also helped host an event about the history of black music.
It was interesting to learn about the evolution of music within the black community. The lecture could have been more entertaining or helpful if there would have been musical examples of what the lecturer was talking about. Occasionally he would create the beats himself, but hearing actual examples from different musical pieces would have been helpful.
Overall the quality of events chosen was relatable to the students and helped those who attended learn more about the current state of black Americans. People know about the history but not everyone knows about what blacks are going through now.
Another reason this month’s activities had an impact on campus was the fact that all the events stayed on campus. Some years AASA decides to have events off campus at a place that costs money to participate. Although that is not a bad thing because people have enjoyed it, some people are excluded because they cannot afford it.
It is important to have events such as Black History Month to inform and teach others about the heritage and backgrounds of African Americans. It is also a celebration for everyone in the community to come together and learn what Black History Month is about.
This year with all the events happening on campus and at reasonable times, more people could attend, have fun and learn.
The best part about Blackout Week is that although the events are catered toward African Americans, students and staff from other racial communities could join in the festivities as well.
The most diverse event was the backyard barbeque, with barbequed hamburgers and hot dogs, games and great conversation. It proved that although February is Black History Month, it includes everyone.
Once again we would like to say thank you to everyone who participated in Blackout Week and other black history events to make this another proud Black History Month.