SUN shines on Black History Month

Photograph courtesy of Grizzly Staff

Valerie Osborne

vaosborne@ursinus.edu

 Ursinus’ Sankofa Umoja Nia (SUN) will be hosting a series of events throughout the month of February in celebration of Black History Month.

The programming will range from events such as an excursion to see the premiere of Black Panther at The Movie Tavern in Provincial Town Center to an on-campus discussion on civil discourse in the recently opened Institute of Inclusion and Equity.  The planned events will serve as a means for the Ursinus community to come together to honor prominent figures in black history while also celebrating African American culture and its community on campus.

SUN president Temi Olafunmiloye ‘18 touched on two events in particular that reflect this aim to celebrate black leaders in both a historical and local context:

The Speaking on the Legacy of James Baldwin event that will be held Feb. 11 and a black women’s group that meets bi-weekly on Friday evenings in the Institute of Inclusion and Equity.

“Events like Speaking on the Legacy of James Baldwin allow us to further understand the impact that the leaders of the civil rights have on black life today, and how their struggles still reflect race-related issues today,” Olafunmiloye said.

“Other events, like the black women’s group, meet regularly, providing a space for black women to celebrate themselves and share their thoughts and ideas.”

Olafunmiloye was especially happy to promote the Taste of Afroculture event that will take place on Feb. 24 at 8:30 p.m. in Lower Wismer.

“Taste of Afroculture [will celebrate] the beauty of the African diaspora, and will feature Caribbean and African food along with several students’ performances where [students will] present pieces from their own cultures.”

Olafunmiloye was also excited to be able to plan a campus visit by Collegeville mayor Aidsand ‘Ace’ Wright-Riggins scheduled for Feb. 22.

Wright-Riggins, who was recently elected to the position of mayor in Collegeville’s November 2017 elections, will be giving a talk on his experiences in the Civil Rights Movement.

“[We’re] excited to be able to get our newly elected mayor more involved with our campus community,” said Olafunmiloye.

She hopes that the events planned for Black History Month will encourage students in the Ursinus community to become more active in the organization’s future events and discussions.

Olafunmiloye stressed the importance of student participation in Black History Month, explaining, “[Observing Black History Month is] important because black life and history is so largely ignored by the dominant culture.”

“Black History Month is a time to be able to bring that life and history to the forefront of the conversation. When we understand history, we can understand the implications and meanings behind racism in America today. Only then can we begin to work towards true equality.”

A full calendar of SUN’s Black History Month events can be found in a recent email sent out by the organization to students. However, celebrating black history and culture will not end with the month of February.

Ursinus students can look forward to several SUN events this semester, including SUN’s annual formal scheduled for April 6 and a possible trip to the National Museum of African American History in Washington D.C. in collaboration with the Student Activities Offices.

Students interested in learning more about SUN may contact the organization at sun@ursinus.edu.

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