On Feb. 8 the DU Black Student Alliance (BSA) hosted a dialogue focused on black pride and the accomplishments made by African-American icons in honor of Black History Month.
The first half of the meeting focused on highlighting the success of individuals in various categories. “Public figures,” was the first topic. Various affluent people were mentioned from Oprah Winfrey to Harriet Tubman. Attendees were also encouraged to comment on the figures in the PowerPoint slide and bring up new names as well. “Orange is the New Black’s” Laverne Cox was one of the names mentioned as the students praised her ability to not divorce her identity from her work. Another student commemorated every individual mentioned, commenting on how everyone can grow and learn from the obstacles everyone had to overcome to get to their current position.
The conversation continued with other categories such as inventors, music, arts and sports. In the inventors category, the attendees discussed instances when black inventors were not given credit for their creation. One student had mentioned how the recipe for Jack Daniels was originally from a slave who worked for Dan Call, the preacher, grocer and distiller who was originally thought to be the man who taught Jack Daniel about distilling. In the sports category, students praised black athletes participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics, highlighting how difficult it can be to prevail in sports that disregard African-American participation due to how expensive those sports can be.
The final section of the dialogue highlighted the Twitter community called “Black Twitter” and its ability to create a cultural identity on the popular social media site that can promote topics that are important to the community and consequently garner attention from the general public, too.
After the dialogue, the night concluded on an energetic note when the hosts and the attendees participated in a variety of improv games in a style based on “Wild’N Out,” the MTV show starring Nick Cannon where he and guests play hip-hop styled improv games. The games played at the meeting included: Family Reunion, R&Beef, Talkin’ Spit and Wildstyle. Wildstyle was the most popular game of the night as it allowed members to rap about their peers at the meeting and try to poke fun at them a la rap battle.
This meeting was part of a wide range of events to help support black culture on the DU campus and celebrate Black History Month. The DU community can visit the Center for Multicultural Excellence’s website for a schedule of other upcoming events occurring this month.