Celebrations and events for Black History Month have begun across campus as the month of February gives time to celebrate and commemorate Black history.
The Black Student Association (BSA), the Office of Student Diversity (OSD), and the Tilford Group hosted the fifth annual ball to honor Martin Luther King Junior, Saturday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Overman Student Center. The ball involved a series of talent events performed by members of the BSA. Students from all over campus joined together to learn, honor MLK Jr., eat, dance and get to know one another. There were students with a wide variety of backgrounds present at this event.
Dana Johnson, junior in psychology, performed two acts at the MLK Jr. ball. She sang the Black national anthem and performed a song for her talent act.
“I think that this is a great step forward,” Johnson said. “It’s good to have places where we can unify, express ourselves and express our talents. I think that this is a great step forwards just because there are a lot of places where we can’t do that. It is really nice that there is a place in small town Pittsburg, Kansas.”
There was a lot of staff from all over campus present at the event. Some staff members were affiliated with various on-campus organizations. However, there also were staff members that were not associated with any organizations.
Jorge Leon Junior is the learning outreach librarian and associate professor in the Axe library at PSU.
“The campus has done a really good job at making sure there is both a proactive component and a response component,” Leon said. “I know that if there are issues that come up, there is everything from departments, student resources, and advocates to help students. On the proactive side, there are a number of different structural groups here on campus.”
Leon said the Axe Library is a great place to learn more about Black history and the Black community. The library has a multitude of resources related to both the Black history and the community.
There were many people present at the MLK Junior ball with a wide variety of backgrounds. Not only were there students that were in the BSA, but there were students present that wanted to come, support, and learn more from the association and their peers.
Kylee Trobee, junior in medieval history, attended the event to support the OSD.
“I actually really wanted to support the fellow OSD members,” Trobee said. “I think it is a really important event and especially nowadays with all the negativity going on. I think this really helps people remember everything that has gone on and it brings light to things that people don’t want to look at.”
Kylee believes the event was an important way to bring students together to celebrate diversity and support the groups that hosted the event.
“I honestly think it brings a lot of people together from different backgrounds,” Kylee said. “I think it is a good turning point, especially, because you don’t just see Black students. You see people with different background, ethnicities, organizations, and places. Showing their support that they have towards different organizations is very important.”
There are a variety of student lead organizations at PSU that provide resources and events to discuss the history of different ethnicities. Those interested in the OSD or with any questions regarding the office can contact Emely Flores at firstname.lastname@example.org. The BSA’s next event will be a virtual movie night on Monday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m.