February is Black History Month, and all around the country, celebrations are beginning. Here at Wheaton, the Office of Student Activities, Involvement & Leadership (SAIL), along with the Black Student Association, has put together multiple events to recognize and spread awareness about African-American history in our country.
“It is important for Black History Month to be celebrated because . . . people [in] past generations have struggled for the black community to have the rights and freedoms [it has] today,” said Aicha Diouf ’15, Treasurer of the Black Student Association.
Diouf also stressed the fact that Black History Month is a celebration for all races. “It is important not only for the black community, but for everyone to understand that we must move past racism, sexism, and all the other ‘isms’, and simply learn to live as a community that celebrates all kinds of diversity.”
Nani Manan ’15, Vice President of the Black Student Association, says that Black History Month at Wheaton strives to fulfill the motto, “reaching back, moving forward.” Manan stated that this idea “is essentially tapping into our history and looking back on it in order to move forward as a generation.”
Recently, the BSA hosted an event called “Dissecting the Beef”, a workshop in which executive board members studied and discussed lesser known black individuals and their contributions to the black community. The success of the event was largely prompted by the members’ ability to “show people that there are more black figures other than Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and even Nelson Mandela”, said Manan.
The Black Student Association will host a meeting at 7 pm this Wednesday in the Lyons Lounge, and every other Wednesday after that. Meetings are not restricted to members of the Black community.
“BSA isn’t only for black people, it is for anyone who is eager to learn about black history or thinks that they can contribute to BSA,” continued Manan. “It is for anyone who believes in our mission statement.”
On Monday, February 25, the Association will show the film Brother Outsider will be playing in the New Yellow Parlor Room of the Balfour-Hood Center, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Brother Outsider is a documentary film which describes the life of the gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.
To conclude Black History Month, there will be a Black and Gold Party at the Loft on March 1st, from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Aicha Diouf ’15.