Black Student Union recognizes Black History Month

February is a time for reflection and solidarity for the Black Student Union

The month of February is health and wellness month at BSU.

Kassidy Corbin

The month of February is health and wellness month at BSU.

Every February, the Black Student Union (BSU) leads to unite students together to commemorate Black History Month.

The BSU is a club that brings students together through cultural enrichment and empowering self-advocacy through African Diaspora. They are open to students of all races and backgrounds, and they have created a safe space for Skyline’s Black students by emphasizing that they are not a monolith.

This year’s theme is “Health and Wellness,” trying to decenter their attention around Black trauma like slavery and police brutality.

“I feel like if you’re a Black person seeing all these events centered in your own trauma, it is really triggering,” said Aryssa Muhammad, vice president of the BSU. “Constantly seeing that the only thing people have to say about Black History Month is slavery is demeaning.”

A lot of people share awareness about the history of slavery to show their support towards the Black community, but the BSU believes that there is more to recognize.
“It’s as if slavery is the only thing that Black people have gone through or represent,” Muhammad said. “We have so many important people, figures, or events in the Black community to just reduce it to slavery.”

Muhammad believes that the Black community doesn’t get a high platform like white people. Schools add to this situation by not keeping their history books up to date.

“Many educators still teach a colonized curriculum,” said Brianna Clay, BSU advisor and a TRiO counselor. “All the history that has been left out leaves us with watered-down information that only scratches the surface of what happened back in the day, but not all the facts are incorporated into our history books.”

It was established that there is an Ethnic Studies requirement for students to be eligible for graduation, which shows progress from the ignorance that the colonized curriculum has created.

The Black Student Union aims to recruit more African American students to keep them connected with resources and engaged with others as much as possible. Even though February is coming to an end, the BSU will continue to acknowledge Black students after Black History Month.

“Just because February is over, the grind doesn’t stop nor does the history stop,” Clay said. “We will continue to voice our opinions and work together.”

As the Black Student Union does its part to create inclusivity within the campus, Clay would like to know what the college district plans to recruit more African American students. For her, there has been a lack of acknowledgement for Black students on campus.

The BSU has been coordinating events throughout February partnering with other clubs like TRiO and Women’s Mentoring and Leadership Academy (WMLA). Some events include the “African American Student Welcome Back through Zoom.” They’ve created open conversations to allow students to share experiences and ideas to make their voices heard.

Even after their February events, the Black Student Union will continue to meet bi-weekly on Fridays at 3 p.m. Member Caroline Cotton considers it a privilege to be part of the student union.

Cotton shared how she feels pressure to uphold a certain image since, no matter the setting where she is the only Black person in the room, she becomes the representative for the entire Black community. The BSU has become an outlet for her and many other members.

“I feel a sense of community and genuine love from the BSU,” Cotton said. “I know if I feel the need to share something positive in my personal or academic life, the BSU is a safe space to share.”

The BSU has brought together a diverse community to an open space to share talents, experiences, and opinions. They brought together people who are relatable and who they can look up to.
“We wear many hats in our homes and on campus but what brings us together is that we all share the Black experience in America,” Cotton said. “I see so much Black excellence in the BSU, it makes me proud.”

The BSU has taught lessons to members that will stay with them. Whether those are academic or life advice to live as being people of color. As their goal is to help them thrive beyond Skyline College.

“The BSU has taught me that no matter where I am there is a seat at every table for me,” said Cotton. “If I don’t see a space I have the ability to make one.”