The Black Student Association has organized a total of six events at the University of Indianapolis throughout the month of February in recognition and celebration of Black History Month.
The United States has recognized Black History Month since 1976, and the UIndy BSA has planned and hosted the events.
BSA held a screening of the movie “Higher Learning,” written and directed by John Singleton and starring Omar Epps, in UIndy Hall A on Feb. 3. The film touches on subjects such as racism, rape, the value of a university education, responsibility and homosexuality.
Senior political science major and BSA Vice President Treasure Jones was eager to show the film and help people better understand the issues it addresses.
“The movie was kind of deep,” Jones said. “It was released in the late 1990s, and back then it wasn’t very popular because of the content. It talked a lot about the racially charge atmosphere on college campuses.”
The Anti-Valentine’s Day Dance was held by BSA in the Trustees Dining Hall on Feb. 10. The dance involved several activities throughout the night including a “candy crush station,” where attendees could crush candy hearts with a hammer, a “three-legged thong race,” where two participants would wrap a thong around their legs and race against another pair, and dancing. The event also included several tables of Valentine’s Day-themed food for the attendees.
Senior sports management major Shaq Lewis enjoyed playing games at the event and seeing his friends there.
“We played a game called the ‘three-legged thong race,’ which was pretty fun,” Lewis said. “The atmosphere was very welcoming. I already knew a lot of people there, but they are all nice people, and they were just there to have fun and enjoy themselves.”
The pastor, choir and members of South Calvary Missionary Baptist Church were invited by BSA to give a service in UIndy Hall A on Feb. 12. The service was led by Reverend John W. Woodall Jr., who gave a sermon about being strong in faith. The attending congregation included both UIndy students and members of the South Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.
“It [Black History Month] is just an opportunity to do some things that we haven’t traditionally had the opportunity to do,” Woodall said. “I talked to [UIndy Chaplain] Jeremiah Gibbs, and he had mentioned that in this area there are not a lot of African-American churches. So I appreciate the school reaching out so that we could have those kinds of opportunities as well.”
BSA also reached out to the Boys and Girls Club to volunteer during its Family Heritage Night on Friday, Feb. 19. Jones and other members of BSA spoke with the younger students to encourage them to pursue a college education and provide them with positive role models as they grow up.
Jones explained that the “Tracing Your Roots” event on Monday, Feb. 22 involved a geneticist analyzing DNA samples from two students to determine where their families can be traced back to.
“This is one of my favorite events because it’s so different,” Jones said. “The geneticist will do a presentation on identity and finding yourself, in addition to the DNA reveal.”
The “Striver’s Row” event will include spoken-word artist Crystal Valentine, who will perform some of her spoken-word commentaries.