Black History Month returns to Western

Written by: Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

On Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, the Multicultural Student Union hosted a two-day celebration to kick start Black History Month — the annual, honorary observance of African-Americans. 

During the event on Feb. 1, MSU — in partnership with the Black Student Union — held a panel featuring Maya Hopwood, Amari Hendrix, Fowzia Abdi, Justice Presley and Professor Mike Wilson. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., students, staff and faculty engaged in a raw, thought-provoking and educational discussion on the experiences of African-Americans in America.

On the second day, a museum put out by MSU was opened for public viewing in the Columbia Room of the Werner University Center. Individuals had the opportunity to learn about African-American figures in history — such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Kobe Bryant. The “Don’t Touch My Hair” display — which has become a custom tradition at Western to showcase — was also available, as well as a display for “Black Pride” and “Black HerStory” — the latter of which showcasing the various historical Black women who produced a remarkable impact. All students were encouraged to attend, regardless of racial identity. 

This year, Black History Month’s central focus is on the theme of Black Resistance. 

The theme explores and calls for discussions regarding African-American’s consistent efforts towards attaining control over their physical and intellectual autonomy through education, literature, politics, legislature and armed resistance. 

BSU is including this theme as a part of their commemoration and for the remainder of February, students have the opportunity to engage in Black History Month through a range of campus events. 

This year, BSU is introducing a few new activities to spark engagement, such as the Black Resistance Gallery, which will be open for viewing Feb. 15. Additionally, as of Feb. 1, “Beyond Having a Black Friend: How to truly support Black people in your life” — a Google Docs form — is open for student, staff and faculty comments. 

To celebrate Black History Month, Abby’s House has put up window displays of black women who have substantially shaped the world. The posters are available for viewing, located outside Abby’s House.

To view the full schedule of events for Black History Month, visit BSU’s Instagram at @woubsu. 

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