Student organizations celebrate Black Heritage Month

By Alyssa Stewart, CORRESPONDENT
On February 4, 2018

Diversity is celebrated throughout the month of February. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/USF.COM

USF clubs celebrate with black organizations for a month of events commemorating Black Heritage Month. The definition of diversity is enhanced throughout the month of February by providing entertainment and expanding the unity on campus. 

The kick-off begins on February 5th on the MLK stage from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Caribbean Culture Exchange (CCE) is showcasing a Coming to America event on Feb. 7  at 5 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) which sheds light on students who experienced racial tension while living in the United States. 

David Williams, the CCE president, said he believes having multiple organizations celebrating black culture breaks down walls so it is easier to step into another person’s shoes to experience life the way they do. 

“Everyone should be represented because we’re all one people,” Williams said. “Social issues are like a grassroot, and once you pick up that momentum, it creates a train of change.” 

The Celebration of Black Heritage Month is an opportunity to meet black role models and student leaders spreading the meaning of black identity. 

“The event gives a fair chance to everyone with different values to have a platform,” Williams said. “There is a lot of issues circling right now, so it is important to communicate.”

Education Abroad, Safe HOME and P.R.I.D.E Alliance are participating in the month’s festivities to celebrate as well. 

“It is good that the black community has allies from different communities on campus,” USF student, Deanna Baxter, a freshman majoring in chemistry, said. “America is currently split, and as a nation, this month is a big deal not just for the black community, but for every minority.”

Baxter said Black Heritage Month is important to her because it represents the struggle her family had to overcome because of her race. Baxter said that as long as the organizations serve a purpose, there is no reason why they should not participate. 

“We celebrate our culture and overcame the obstacles we as a people have unfortunately had to face,” Baxter said. “It allows multicultural students to thrive and develop.”

Jewel Hector, a freshman majoring in mass communications, said USF does a great job in upholding its commitment to acknowledging diversity.

“America is set up in a way where if students are not subjected to knowing it (diversity), you would never know that it is out there to find,” Hector said. “Finding new things about other people who are different from us is as important as being accepted.”

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is setting up a social media competition every week in the month of February to give a member of the black community who is exemplifying leadership and involvement a chance to have the spotlight. USF students have the opportunity to nominate an individual who is impacting USF in a positive way.

Black Heritage Month will include food, dance performances, trivia night, art, a movie screening,  discussions and guest speakers Wesley Lowery and Ken Nwadike Jr.

“The more people who are able to come together and talk about something, allows for more perspective and an understanding of one another,” Baxter said. “Each club needs each other to improves the campus’ atmosphere.”

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