Annual celebration gives Black Student Union a platform

It’s Black History Month and Black Student Union is hosting a celebration with a progressive purpose.

Black History Month is an annual celebration that recognizes achievements of African Americans in United States history.

“This month is a time where we can bring awareness to events in history everyone could get more educated with,” said BSU Vice President Toni Hudson, 19, communications major.

According to the Cosumnes River College student clubs website, BSU’s purpose is “promoting educational opportunities and awareness of Black culture. To provide a sense of kinship and identity.”

“I think that the black students on this campus need to be identified as striving to become progressive minded, to establish a sense of higher learning and wanting to go farther,” said BSU President Diana Atkins, 77, human services major.

“So many times they have been stereotyped as lazy, gang bangers or weed heads,” Atkins said.
“We are products of our environment and many of these young people don’t have role models and become products of what’s thought of them, and I want to change that.”

Stories of African American heroes throughout history serve to inform and inspire “not just for African American youth, but underprivileged youth as a whole,” Atkins said.

She believes role models who come from similar backgrounds could motivate underprivileged youth to challenge their stereotypes and aspire for success.

“A lot of people don’t get to share their stories; they die with their story,” Hudson said. “I feel like it’s a blessing that they even get a chance to give their story of what really happened because a lot of people don’t get to do that and that’s sad.”

By looking at the art of black history, this elevates the culture, Atkins said.

“Our purpose is we want to emphasis the crisis in black education,” Hudson said. “We want to know the problems we are facing and we want to find solutions.”

All of BSU’s events are free admission.

On Feb. 9, A Night of Gospel featuring local artist and poet Terry More, Local Praise Dancers and special guest Blinky Williams of Motown will be held in the Recital Hall from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

BSU will host a talent show that invites “all students from all walks of life,” according to their flyer. Auditions will be on Feb. 13 in the quad. The talent show will be on Feb. 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the quad.

“Various instructors have agreed to show a film during their class will open their class up to the CRC community,” said Teresa Aldredge, counselor of Diop scholars.

Some of the films that will be screened are “Race” which is about African American athlete Jesse Owens, “Sankofa” which is about an African American fashion model that is spiritually transported back to the plantation in the West Indies. As well as “Waiting for ‘Superman,” which is a film that criticizes the American public education system, and “13th” a film about the 13th Amendment.

By the end of Black History Month, Atkins said she hopes “to bring awareness not just of our past as slaves, but to promote the culture and dignity of black people. There is a side other than hangings.”  

BSU meetings are on Wednesdays from 3-4 p.m. in BS 147.