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Campus Life Spotlight: Black History Month

Posted on Feb 22, 2011
UW-Superior students celebrate Black History month.
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Campus Life Spotlight: Black History Month

Students from the Black Student Union and the International Peace Studies Association joined together this month in celebration of Black History month by hosting the one woman performance "The Power of the Tongue." This performance featured Ge'ylah (pronounced G-ee-'lah), spoken word poet and storyteller, and centered on the African-American experience through recorded image, music and spoken word poetry. According to BSU member Kym Young, "She wove an oral tale of what African-American slaves, poets, leaders, and historians see as defining who and how we perceive our impact and ourselves in the America of the past and present."  

Ge'ylah opened with a well know poem by famed African American poetess Nikki Giovanni "I am BAD" which tells the journey of the African woman through time and space where she embodies many roles in her evolutionary journey from the birth of the world to the' now'.   BSU member Kym Young expressed the outcome of the program as, "an entertaining evening for the UWS community that also educated the public on our rich African American traditions and shows our culture in celebration of Black History month." BSU hopes that in the future they are able to bring more such programming to the campus.  

The importance of cultural student organizations, such as the Black Student Union, is important in facilitating social integration and retention in students of color. In a study published in the Journal of College Student Development, author D. Guiffrida interviewed students to determine what role African American student organizations played on a predominantly White campus. He found that these organizations provided students with a means to connect to Black faculty outside the classroom, an opportunity to give back to the Black community, and provided an environment in which they could comfortably associate with other African Americans (Guiffrida, 2003).

Guiffrida, D. (2003). African American student organizations as agents of social integration. Journal of College Student Development, 44(3), 304-319.

Watch for the Campus Life Spotlight each Tuesday online and in the Staff Digest.

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