The month of February isn’t just candy hearts and bouquets of roses, it’s also a time to celebrate history and culture. The Union of African American Students will be kicking off Black History Month next week.
Black History Month is a time for UAAS and other USD students on campus to come together to honor Black history and culture.
Marcus Destin, UAAS president and junior communication studies major, said Black History Month is an opportunity for USD students to learn something new in many different ways.
“We just want to do something different, especially here in South Dakota,” Destin said. “We want to throw events that bring people of color across campus in an inclusive environment that allows us to engage, enlighten and educate.”
Throughout the month, UAAS will be hosting events such as the Ruby Ball and the Panel of Black Love to celebrate and showcase all aspects of Black history.
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Clayton Ford, a junior and member of UAAS, said this month is also about making connections with students all over campus.
“If everybody knows each other and if everybody is comfortable with each other, then [events like] games can be a lot more fun,” Ford said.
Although this month is to celebrate Black history, all the events are open to anyone, Destin said, not just UAAS members.
“USD isn’t USD without all of its students,” Destin said. “You’re going to face these interactions in the real world and you’re going to meet new people.”
In the last several decades, there have been several figures within the Black community who have made history. Ford said one person he looks up to is activist Malcolm X, along with some of his family members.
Destin said there have been so many influential people in Black history, so it’s challenging to choose his main role model.
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“It’s hard to pick just one, but I usually go with my parents,” Destin said. “Being the bridge between my grandparents, my parents and this next generation means a lot to me as well.”
The UAAS will start off Black History Month next Monday, Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. in the Muenster University Center. The kickoff event will honor “unsung heroes,” or unknown figures in Black history from the past and present.
Ford said he hopes students will come to this event, along with the others this month. He said he wants people to learn as much as they can so they can share it with others.
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“I want people to understand and remember the little things, like what’s right in front of you,” Ford said. “We’re on our phones all the time. But pay attention to what’s in front of you, or you won’t be able to take that and tell people about it.”