Black Student Union: Unity Brings Power

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Black Student Union: Unity Brings Power

“We talk about liberating minds, as well as liberat-
ing society.” – Angela Davis

This year, in commemoration of Black
History Month, Earlham’s Black Student Union
(BSU) hosted events crucial to the expansion of
knowledge about African and African-American
culture, art and history. The organization itself
consists of a group of students who recognize
the importance of conversation on social issues,

and the idea of improving the lives of diverse Af-
rican identities on campus.

According to one of the conveners, sopho-
more Idai Chelsea Makoni, this year’s members

made Black History Month at Earlham possible;
“This year’s leadership has been more proactive
and open to new things. We have worked hard to
bring people together and make black students
feel at home at Earlham. We still face challenges,
as we inherited a broken system.” The system that
Idai talks about is the separations of the union
into subsets, which finally assembled into what
this year’s club comprises of. “We were told that
past conveners felt the need to have the divisions

to cater to the different identities that exist in the

African Diaspora,” expressed Idai. A representa-
tive of continental Africa, Idai explained that this

year the organization unified all conveners, each
representing different parts of the diaspora to “be
as representative as possible.”

Whether its programming events or writ-
ing out discussion agendas, all members from the

previously separate sub-groups are encouraged to
participate and collaborate. Unity brings strength
and this year’s success took the form of events
such as the viewing of “The Hate You Give” on

February 8th, the talk “A History of Black Stu-
dents at Earlham,” by Professor of History, Tom

Hamm, the event, “Celebrating Black Hair &

Beauty” on February 11th and the roundtable dis-
cussion on “The Grapevine” on February 18th.

The purpose of the organization is to bring

social justice to a group of students who are dedi-
cated and committed to representing the change

of the future. Initiating these conversation leads

to solutions for black students on campus. Mem-
ber Cynthia Lanor expressed that “Race isn’t

discussed enough at Earlham. Color Blindness
is prevalent.” According to Cynthia, many Black
Student Union members share the opinion that
black students are being pushed to the sidelines.
There “aren’t enough black professors. We do not
have black people in high positions. Earlham is
being run the ‘white way.” Alan Price, the first
African-American president at Earlham, did not
even hold that position for more than a year.

When asked about the possibility of a per-
ceived divide on campus between African-Ameri-
cans and International students of color, Cynthia

explained that with BSU, members are not only
challenging themselves but also stimulating others
at Earlham to think outside the binary of, “black
and white,” and appreciate and learn about the
spectrum of black identities that make Earlham a
diverse college campus. The fortified unity of the

club this year is a promise to improving the stu-
dent life experience of current and future mem-
bers of BSU.

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