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Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity performs at the Martin Luther King, Jr Ball at Overman Student Center Saturday Feb. 1. Several students and community members were present and the event was organized by Student Diversity Office and Black Student Association. Salehin Mahbub photo-editor

BSA Presents Annual “MLK Jr.” Ball

The month of February is known as Black History Month. During this month African American creators are celebrated for their inventions, achievements and many more. On Saturday, Feb. 1 the Black Student Association (BSA) hosted their annual Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Ball. The ball was held from 7 p.m .to 9:30 p.m., in the Overman Student Center Ballroom. The event included a night of festivities, with speakers, performances, and dancing.   

“(The ball) is an event that honors the accomplishments of the minority community, which is something that should be done more often.” said Cassandra Roque, senior in integrated studies.   

The ball was presented to honor Martin Luther King Jr., for his overall role of being an activist for minorities and fighting for peace within race. His legacy is remembered, celebrated for his nobility, and confidence of being a leader of the Civil Rights Movement.  

“We want to continue to help further MLK’s dream of having a nation in which everyone is accepted” said D’Andre Phillips, junior in mathematics, President of BSA.  

At the ball, students, faculty and others from the community of Pittsburg were in attendance. The dress code of the event was formal, as it was a night full of celebration. There were three different presentations to present some talents that are popular in African- American Culture. 

“We were able to have different student performers that presented slam poetry, interpretive photography and re-enactment step shows” said Phillips.  

Slam poetry originated in the city of Chicago, IL, and implements the elements poetry and performance into one as a poet speaks out their emotions upon a certain topic.  

“I loved the Alpha performance in honor of MLK Jr.” said Roque.  

Alpha Phi Alpha is one of the fraternities apart of the “Divine Nine” which is a combination of nine fraternities and sororities founded by African Americans. Alpha Phi Alpha is the only fraternity of the Divine Nine that is represented at PSU.  

“The MLK ball has new talents each year,” said Jailyn Davis, sophomore in early childhood education, Vice President of BSA. “It’s super exciting to see new members step out of their comfort zone and open up by show their talents.”  

During the ball, there was a presentation shown that students of Office of Diversity took part in a video which was a partnership with the PSU Tilford group which includes volunteers, faculty and staff. They host events focused around multiculturalism and diversity. The book that the presentation was based on is called “Between the world and me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  

The MLK ball has been occurring annually since 2018. The event has grown each year, as more students, faculty and staff attend.  

“It is important for us to come together as a student body and as a community.” said Davis. “There are so many opportunities, no matter what someone looks like we should put our differences aside and honor MLK Jr.”  

In future years, BSA hopes to expand the ball, add more events and a possible scholarship opportunity. 

“(In the future) I would love for the ball to be a campus sponsored event, in which more campus organizations can partner up and contribute to the talent portion,” Phillips said. 

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