Black History Month is time of growth for BSU

Olivia Gomez and Elin Johnson

It’s Black History Month and Linfield’s Black Student Union is celebrating by bringing in a guest speaker, going off campus for a few events, and initiating other programs.

BSU Co-president Jade Everage is excited for what the club has planned this month that will showcase its members.

“What is particularly special about this year’s Black History Month is that BSU is beginning to step outside of its comfort zone by having its younger members take on representative leadership opportunities, making connections with our Black Student Union organizations, and host large events that many did not believe that we could achieve,” she said.

BSU and other multicultural groups are going to the Oregon State Penitentiary Feb. 17 to attend events hosted by Uhuru Sasa, an African-American club. They will be able to meet and interact with inmates and present on the black historical figures who most inspire them.

The following day, the BSU from George Fox will be accompanying Linfield students to a showing of “Black Panther.”

On the night of Feb. 22, education and psychology scholar Jane Elliot will speak in Ice Auditorium.

She will be connecting her previous decades of work on racial prejudice to today’s campus climate and determining how it may affect the campus and country in the future.

Camila Arguello, Co-president of BSU, said that Black History Month has always had educational value for her.

Arguello went on to say that she was excited to continue her learning by hearing Jane Elliot speak.

“The Jane Elliot talk is critical for this campus in connection to a lot of the political tension that has taken place here because she will challenge us to question ourselves and our beliefs,” Everage said.

“Our goal is to start civil conversation about the experiences of black students regardless of your discipline.”

She went on to say that this conversation will not only aid in healing students, faculty and staff, but also foster a more open campus.

Esperance Ibuka, the director of multicultural programs, said that her office is partnering with the library to create Black History Month displays. She is also finalizing other events that will be announced soon.

Black History Month is the product of “Negro History Week,” which was founded by scholar and African-American activist Carter G. Woodson in 1926 to honor Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birth week.