Black Student Union celebrates Black History Month with multiple events

Poize, a hip-hop dance team, moves in sync to the music during their performance at Black Student Union Represent. BSU Represent took place in Forum Hall on Oct. 27, 2018. (Mary Kate Zach | Collegian Media Group)

Black History Month is an important time for many Americans, and for the Black Student Union, it’s an opportunity to promote its mission statement throughout the entire month of February.

The BSU celebrates Black History Month at Kansas State in a variety of ways, including events and keynote speakers. Brandon Clark, BSU adviser and student programs coordinator for diversity and multicultural student affairs, said Black History Month is important for many reasons.

“I think Black History Month is always an important month for our Black Student Union here on campus because, traditionally, it has been our BSU that has been responsible for hosting the majority of the events that happen on campus,” Clark said. “So it really gives our BSU the opportunity to highlight different issues and celebrations they think are important.”

Every year, the organization brings in a keynote speaker as the headliner for the public events on campus. This year, it was Angela Rye, an influential political commentator, lawyer and advocate.

Jasmine Gray, junior in management, said she has been an involved member of the BSU since her freshman year, and she appreciates the organization’s dedication to celebrating Black History Month every year.

“I think it’s great,” Gray said. “At K-State, there isn’t a lot of black people on campus, so I think it’s great a place to go to and come together to celebrate.”

The organization will sponsor events throughout February, including Black History 101 Mobile Museum and Lecture on Feb. 22 and Black Trivia Game Show on Feb. 26. The BSU holds regular meetings on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the Student Union.

This year, the organization’s themes are “Don’t be mad because I’m young and black,” and “Defeating Odds, Pushing Efforts,” or “DOPE” for short. Del’Sha Roberts, BSU president and senior in biology, said the themes tie into Black History Month and what they are doing to celebrate.

“We have a lot in store for Black History Month: taking a look at our past and seeing where we are progressing to in the future,” Roberts said. “[We’re] thinking about what our campus needs and what our students’ needs are.”

Clark said he believes Black History Month is a month to learn and reflect on the past and the current issues in the black community.

“Black history is American history,” Clark said. “It’s important for not only black Americans, but all Americans to know.”