Student organizations come together to celebrate black history month

Chino Chukuka, Feb. 5, Black Student Alliance's student of the week.

InFin & Co.'s team, 2017, at a back to school event in Houston, TX.
Photo Courtesy Chino Chukuka

Brianna Benitez

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and recognize influential black men and women who have helped shape the world through innovation and creativity. At Texas State University, students from all backgrounds commemorate and admire the success of African Americans.

Throughout February, there will be a variety of events taking place on campus to honor Black History Month.

Events begin with the Post Sit-in Town Hall Wednesday, Feb.13, at 5 p.m. in the LBJ Teaching Theater. Mama’s Kitchen Soul Food and Black History Celebration will take place Thursday, Feb.14 at 12 p.m. in the LBJ Ballroom.

In the Performing Arts Center, the Social Justice Film and Speaker Series Panel will happen Feb. 18 at 5 p.m.

Nearing the end of the month, Feb. 24, from 2-4 p.m., The Calaboose Museum will host Claiming Sunday, a story of a Texas slave community.

In addition to these events, several student organizations like the Black Student Alliance, Black Art Association and Black Women United are joining together to celebrate not only black history, but each other’s organizations through a series of events called Black Out.

Some of the events taking place throughout Black Out include the Women of Color Retreat Friday, Feb. 15, from 3-5 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Lampasas Hall. Redefining Men: Male Retreat will be Friday, Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in LBJ room 3-9.1.

Marshia Paulton, biology senior, is the vice president of the Black Student Alliance, an organization that promotes and showcases black culture.

Paulton said BSA allows students to discuss issues affecting black students on campus and throughout the world.

As a chartered organization, BSA receives funds from the university to host events and activities. In addition to hosting their own events, BSA proudly pays it forward and sponsors events for organizations that cannot afford to do the same.

BSA began introducing black students and black faculty of the week in honor of Black History Month.

On Feb. 5, BSA announced Chino Chukuka as black student of the week and Skyller Walkes as black faculty of the week.

BSA selected Chukaka to be their first black student of the week due to his outstanding participation in the organization.

Walkes was selected due to her active role in the Texas State community. She is currently the interim director for the Office of Disability Services.

“(BSA) talked about it multiple times in our meetings how we don’t see many black faculty on this campus,” Paulton said. “Announcing a black faculty member of the week will allow us to show students people on campus that are advocating for us.”

BSA will host its annual Desegregation Celebration Feb. 26 in the Student Recreation Center, where BSA members discuss the history of integration of schools in San Marcos.

BSA’s goal for this year’s Black History Month is to encourage all students to celebrate influential black men and women who have helped make a positive impact on the world.

“It’s really important to recognize different cultures and celebrate them,” Paulton said.

Morgan Brooks, business management senior, is the historian and public relations executive for the Black Art Association.

BAA is a platform for students to unite, celebrate and appreciate African American art.

Brooks said BAA is an opportunity for students to discover art within themselves and be able to show others what art means to them.

BAA aims at recognizing influential black artists in both the past and present. Every Tuesday, the organization features new artists of color on their Twitter page under the #TalentTuesday. To nominate an artist, message BAA on Twitter, @TXStateBAA.

Brooks said it is important to acknowledge the adversity black people have faced in the past and still face in the present. She said it is critical for people to acknowledge racism is still prevanlent and still exists.

“Black people struggled through slavery for 400 years, yet we’re given a month to celebrate our history and its the shortest month of the year,” Brooks said.

She encourages people to be knowledgeable of the past because history tends to repeat itself.

“If people aren’t knowledgeable of racism in the past, then they won’t be able to identify racism in the present,” Brooks said.

BAA wants to make it known their organization is not limited to black students and those who identify as artists. The group is for everyone who is interested in celebrating and learning more about black-centered artwork.

Amani Seay, advertising senior, is the historian and marketing executive for Black Women United.

BWU is an organization that works to unite women in order to educate and empower one another.

Seay said although BWU focuses on black women, it is open to all women and students.

BWU has a variety of events lined up to celebrate Black History Month like a game of Black Jeopardy Thursday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. in Flowers Hall.

Seay said it’s important for students to recognize Black History Month because black history is American history.

“There are a lot of inventions and innovations we wouldn’t have without black people and that needs to be celebrated,” Seay said.

Black student organizations at Texas State are unifying in order to honor Black History Month through the Black Out takeover. These events are open to anyone and everyone wanting to celebrate black history.

To stay up-to-date on Black Out events, check out black student organizations via social media and use #TXSTBlackOut to spread the celebration of black history.

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