Black History Month at Butler

Celebrate Black History Month with BSU. Photo courtesy of Cleveland Public Library. 

MADELEINE HALL | STAFF REPORTER | mghall1@butler.edu 

February is Black History Month — a time to honor the history, achievements and contributions of Black Americans. The Black Student Union at Butler has organized several events that will take place throughout the month, highlighting their community’s influential impact. These events not only unite members of the community, but also encourage others to become allies of the Black community.

From watch parties to seminars, there is something for everyone. Most of the events will be virtual, which is different from previous years, but in light of COVID-19, it was decided to maintain the safety of individuals by going fully online. Being virtual has also allowed them to partner with other BSU’s across the state of Indiana.

Melísenda Dixon, a sophomore management information systems major and president of the Black Student Union, spoke of the significance of the work that is happening this month and why it matters.

“For us, it’s a time where we feel like we can be seen,” Dixon said. “So often, in history, and especially going to college, we are definitely always told a whitewashed version of history. This is a time where we can properly educate people on our history and highlight the impact we’ve done in the community.”

Some virtual events happening this month include: 

A Talk About Privilege 

Monday, February 15 at 6:00 p.m.

A discussion about how both internal and external privilege affects the Black community.

The Black Card

Tuesday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m.

A discussion on ‘the Black card” and how certain individuals can often stray from their racial identities.

Minority Mental Health Spotlight

Friday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m.

A discussion on how mental health affects minorities.

Students can RSVP to these events by using the student Engage page.

Paul Ford, a first-year entrepreneurship and innovation major and first-year representative for the Black Student Union board, is leading the Talk About Privilege Event. He expressed both excitement for the events this month along with a sense of urgency for them.

“I know a lot of minorities feel left out just because they don’t see people like them,” Ford said. “To keep up celebrating Black History throughout the year is making sure to see those people and to accept the community.”

Similarly, sophomore dance major Trevor Montgomery stressed the importance of identity. As a transfer student, he emphasized the welcoming, inclusive atmosphere of the Jordan College of the Arts and the strong support system so often found in the arts. 

“To give an understanding of all the points of views for the same situation is very helpful because then people can have a well-rounded understanding of Black history,” Montgomery said. 

By celebrating Black History Month, students recognize that there is still so much anti-racist work to be done — starting with better inclusion on campus. Although these virtual events are a good starting point, they are only the tip of the iceberg. 

According to students like Dixon, there are more events happening this year because of the climate, but that the main problem remains in finding support for students of the Black community. 

“It’s not that we don’t have representation, it’s that we don’t have enough support for them once they are here,” Dixon said.

Whether you are hoping to find solace in a new community, get more involved or use your voice to speak up against systemic suppression, there are certainly ways to do so here at Butler. There are events happening all year equally as important to those happening this month. Be sure to follow @butleru_bsu and @butlerdiversity to keep up with their events happening on campus.

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