On February 26, the Black Student Union (BSU) hosted a “Can I Vent” event and a spelling bee to celebrate Black History Month and give students a safe place to express themselves. 

“We actually have two events going on today: one is called ‘Can I Vent’ and we’re basically going to be getting things off our chests and taking things off our mind, as well as sharing our emotions and things of that nature. After that, there’s a spelling bee. It’s set up like a traditional spelling bee,” said BSU member Brandon Johnson.

“[The] venting event [is] for people who don’t want to go to a therapist or anything to express themselves to talk about problems they may have,” BSU member Arryon Starks said. “[The] spelling bee [is] just something that could be fun for other people. It’s about learning and having fun. The person that does win the spelling bee can get a prize. Black Student Union is basically about our culture and trying to stick together. That’s what the group is: we try to keep all of us together in unity.”

Black history was celebrated throughout the month of February by many organizations on Indiana State’s campus. The month is dedicated to this subject because black history is often overlooked in textbooks and in what students are taught on a regular basis. 

It became a tradition in 1976 to focus on black history during the month of February. Ever since then, students have had more exposure to black history and more information about the Civil Rights Movement. The BSU was developed shortly after February was designated Black History Month.

According to their Treehouse page, “The Black Student Union was organized by a small group of students in 1968 to assist the African-American Cultural Center in promotion of the center’s programs series and to serve as host to the prominent African-American Cultural Center. The primary goal of Black Student Union is to promote all phases of education and the advancement of students of color at Indiana State University and in the surrounding community. The mission of the Black Student Union is to culminate the mind and the body of African American students on the Indiana State University campus. To address and help provide for the alleviation of all problems and issues which manifest miseducation and misunderstanding, along with being compelled to enhance community education, campus life and social balance.” 

Although it isn’t February anymore, black history is still important. Groups like the Black Student Union allow African-American students to feel more connected to one another the whole year round. Check out the African-American Cultural Center for more information on Black History Month.