UB's Black Student Union celebrates Black History Month
BSU and Intercultural Diversity Center open their doors to discuss race on campus
Deidree Golbourne wants to educate people on black culture while having fun at the same time. UB’s Black Student Union is her platform and guide to becoming an activist.
UB’s Black Student Union (BSU) and the Intercultural Diversity Center have hosted events throughout the month of February in celebration of Black History Month. Both groups have orchestrated discussions and activities to educate students on black culture to try to eliminate racial stereotypes on campus.
“The Black Student Union tries to make sure that we do events year round that help educate and express black culture in the Buffalo Community,” said Golbourne, a sophomore history and African-American studies major and BSU’s historian.
Throughout the month of February, BSU hosted events nearly every weekend.
The club kicked off the month with a Black Ice ski trip on Feb. 6. The annual Health Fair in the Student Union followed the week after and they are currently accepting winter scarves, hats, coats and gloves for their Code Blue clothing drive.
BSU has held weekly general body meetings discussing topics such as the perceptions of LGBTQ in the black community and the influence of a black president on the country.
The Intercultural Diversity Center (IDC) also opened its doors to discussion.
On Feb. 19, IDC held a workshop open to all students as an opportunity to speak about racial inequality. They will be showing the movie Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin, a movie about black activism and the civil rights movement, on Feb. 26.
“Racism is prevalent in our world and in society,” said Terri Budek, assistant director of the Intercultural and Diversity Center, in an email. “I think one can assume there is racism in our community and therefore on our campus.”
Budek said higher education institutions provide a unique opportunity for genuine dialogue that may challenge students’ perceptions on race.
These discussions held by the diversity center allow students to break barriers when trying to discuss racial tension on campus. Students need to discuss the issues with an open mind and acknowledge the structures of power that have been in place for so long, Budek said.
IDC hosted workshops throughout February such as a celebratory dessert hour, where they offered treats and played trivia games about black history.
On Feb. 28, BSU will be ending the month with an explosion.
Black Explosion is BSU’s annual fashion and culture show. This year, the show is titled ‘Indulgence,’ an evening dedicated to celebrating black art.
“Often in the media African Americans are criminalized,” said Christina Dunn, a junior sociology and communication major and vice president of BSU. “We are trying to portray African Americans through more beautiful things so we show it in art as a way to do that.”
Black Explosion will feature black designers, black artists and models from multiple schools.
“This event stresses the importance of black fashion, black culture and black excellence,” Golbourne said.
BSU encourages students to discuss these topics throughout the year and make sure black history isn’t limited to one month.
“We want to educate everyone at the university about our culture and break down racial stereotypes,” she said.
As the historian, Golbourne said she has grown as a person. She provides the information on black history, she updated social networks with important black facts and she “educates the masses on our culture.”
Dunn said being a part of BSU since her freshman year is one of the best choices she’s made in her college experience because it’s where she’s made some of her closest friends.
“My outspokenness has grown because of this,” Golbourne said. “I am now filled with knowledge and have become the speaker for our organization. We work as a team to be professional. You must be up to all challenges and be mature enough to handle them.”
Dunn and Golbourne said it is all about giving back to move forward.
“As a member of this eboard and the historian,I want to make sure that I give as much as possible socially and educationally to the people at this university and in the Buffalo community,” Golbourne said.
BSU is open to everyone regardless of his or her race or ethnicity. Meetings are held at 5:00 p.m. in SU 145 Mondays and Wednesdays.
Samantha Brenner is a features staff writer and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org