The Black Student Union (BSU) is hosting a series of events and seminars in February for Black History Month. Black History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements and contributions achieved by African Americans in the U.S. and the rest of the world. To better highlight the achievements of Black women, BSU coined February Black HERstory Month.
Tyler Pharr, the President of Meredith College BSU, says, “Historically, Black women are seldom mentioned or celebrated, so we wanted to embrace the Black female experience and give ourselves the flowers we deserve. We hope that the MC community will join us this month.” BSU meetings are held every Thursday from 8-9 p.m. in SMB 118. On Feb. 20, a panel will be held about protecting Black women from 7-8:30 p.m. Students will learn how to recognize the struggles of Black women and how to be an advocate for Black women in their community.
A Colorism Pillow Talk will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 7-8:30 pm in SMB 118: “What is Colorism and how does it affect you?” There will be a small presentation about what it is and how society is affected by it. For those who don’t know, colorism is “differential treatment based on skin color,” according to dictionary. com.
“Personally, colorism is trash, and as a darker-skinned Black woman, my journey to self-love was longer because of it. Colorism is institutionally supported and engrained in all aspects of society, and frankly, it sucks,” says Pharr. She hopes that attendees can learn about colorism and how to call it out when they see it. “It is important to talk about it and be aware of how we are affected and foster it. Though it will be a hard conversation, we all have implicit biases involving colorism,” said Pharr. As a conclusion for Black History Month, the BSU is collaborating with the Residence Housing Association (RHA) to host a “Social for the Soul” event, which will be a “Breakfast and Chill” celebration in BDH with special guests and performances. This will take place Friday, Feb. 28 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Southern cuisines will be served, such as chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits. There is a $2 entrance fee for all who wish to attend.
“We have all been touched by someone in RHA, and we are super excited to work with them for this event. We hope that the people who know about this event don't just see it as a ‘black event.’ That is usually the perception when BSU has publicly sponsored events. This is our Black HERstory Month closeout event and we want everyone to come and celebrate what BSU and Black culture represent,” said Pharr.
To start Black History Month, a talk session about seasonal depression was occured on Feb. 6 with Donna Battle, Meredith Chaplain. In this session, students gained skills in self-care and enhancing their mindset. On Thursday, Feb. 13, a trivia night about all things Black culture was hosted in the SMB in room 118.
Black History Month was established by Carter G. Woodson, University of Chicago and Harvard graduate, who is now known as the “Father of Black History.” Goodson noticed that Black people were severely underrepresented in U.S. history. As a result of this, Woodson would later create a “Negro History Week” to bring more awareness to the numerous accomplishments of Blacks across history. The idea slowly grew across cities, with many colleges and universities changing the week to Black History Month on campus during the Civil Rights Movement. President Gerald Ford eventually declared Black History Month a national observance in 1976.
“In celebrating Black History Month...we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,” said Ford.
By Milin Santizo-Escobar, Contributing Writer