B.U.S. strives to keep black heritage alive on campus

Drew Parker

Kent State Black United Students will focus on better educating black students about black heritage this February.

Diandra Proctor, sophomore fashion merchandising major and director of public relations for B.U.S., said she hopes upcoming black history events will help black Kent State students understand their own history more thoroughly.

“The civil rights movement was nothing like how it is often depicted,” Proctor said. “It was a struggle the whole way. Racism didn’t just step aside.”

Proctor said many people share the misconception that white America accepted the movement fairly easily and mentioned Martin Luther King as an example for the hardships of black people.

“Martin Luther King was preparing himself to die for the cause every day,” Proctor said. “The day he was shot was not the first time he was in danger for what he believed in.”

The B.U.S. celebration of Black Heritage Month will begin with a showing of “Hidden Colors,” a documentary about the history of colored people around the world February 8 at 7 p.m.

B.U.S. president and senior teaching English as a second language major Samantha Salters said the organization chose this film because students should celebrate all minorities during the month.

“It’s very important that we show the accomplishments of all minorities,” Salters said. “I think we forget that every minority contributed in history.”

The B.U.S. Honors Ceremony will follow February 24 at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. The event will honor Student Multicultural Center director Shana Lee, Pan-African studies professor Halim El-Dabh and fashion merchandising professor Tameka Ellington.

See full list of events here.

Dr. Geraldine Hayes-Nelson, executive director of Diversity Programming and Community Outreach, said she believes it is crucial for minority students to value their history.

“I don’t think (Black History Month) will ever lose its popularity,” Nelson said. “It provides students with information on the struggles of minorities and the people who worked for the rights they enjoy today.”

Nelson said it is important for African American students to learn about the triumphs of all minorities and not just their own ancestors.

“You’ve got to know your history to move forward,” Nelson said. “There are many aspects of these movements that are not in the history books, and it is our responsibility to keep the memory of these heroes alive.”

For a full listing of Kent State Black History Month events, see the story at KentWired.com.

Contact Drew Parker at [email protected].