Sooners Celebrate Black History Month
In celebration of Black History Month, the University of Oklahoma’s Black Student Association hosted a variety of events around campus during February, ranging from guest speakers to game nights to a pageant.
To kick off the month, BSA held its annual Heritage Dinner, said junior Alex Jackson, a social studies education and human relations major from Spencer, Oklahoma, and member of BSA. This year, Dr. Karlos Hill, OU professor and interim director of the African and African American Studies program, spoke at the dinner on the importance of and history behind Black History Month.
Jackson has been involved in BSA since she was a freshman and now serves as the chair for Stompdown, the group’s annual step show. Part of why she chose OU was because she felt at home when she stepped on campus, and she encouraged other students to take advantage of all the events happening around them to connect with their community.
“Take the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone one time,” Jackson said. “Campus as a whole is very welcoming, but specifically within the black community we strive to get to know everyone. It just takes that one step whether you just go to one event. Somebody’s going to reach out to you, somebody’s going to notice you, somebody’s going to speak to you.”
Other activities for Black History Month included a “Family Feud” Tournament, a trip to a showing of “Black Panther” at the Warren Movie Theater for just $5 per ticket, and the annual Mister & Miss Black OU Pageant.
Another key speaker the group welcomed to campus was attorney Lorenzo Banks, who spoke about the legal rights people have when in contact with law enforcement, and during the month’s general assembly meeting, Miles Kelly discussed how black males can support black females in higher education and in life in general, Jackson said.
There is also an upcoming #BlackGirlMagic Mental Health Group event, where participants will talk about mental health in the black community, specifically for women, according to Jackson.
To wrap up the celebration, Patrisse Cullors, one of the founding members of the Black Lives Matter movement, will speak on Thursday, March 8. This event is a collaborative effort by the BSA with Campus Activities Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
Jackson wants students to know that the Black Student Association is open to all students across campus.
“We would love to see faces of all colors come to our events because the things that we talk about are relevant for anybody and everybody, and the events we put on, the cultural events we have, we love to share our culture with others,” Jackson shared. “Just know that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can always be involved at any point, come to any event.”