Black History Taught Through BSU Lunch and Learn

Hannah Perry, Staff Writer

     From February 17-22, BVU’s Black Student Union celebrated Black History Month with a week full of events on campus. On each weekday, the group organized a topic to educate students about through their Lunch and Learn table, which was set up in the Serve.  

     The week was kicked off with “Major Milestone Monday,” which focused on spreading awareness about key moments in Black history. Included in the milestones were The Harlem Rennaissance, Barack Obama becoming the first Black U.S. President, and Katherine Johnson’s work for NASA. Those who went up to the table and learned something new were rewarded with candy.  

     Tuesday’s table was decorated with photos of various hairstyles accompanied by hair products for the theme of “Black Hair.” Sitting in front of the plethora of products, Emerald Jones and Khamedriah Grimes served as educators of what to use for different hair types and styles. They emphasized the different variables, such as manageability, functionality, and convenience.  

     “It really depends on the person,” Jones said. “For some, protective styles are easier to manage because they can just wake up and go. Also, the process of braiding may more complicated, but once they’re done, they can be a lot more convenient.” 

     Grimes backed up the Jones, saying “Some people prefer straightening their hair by using relaxers. Detangling the hair can sometimes be more manageable.” 

     On Wednesday, those who visited the table were challenged with a guessing game about “Black TV Sitcoms.” Participants were to pick a number from 1-15, which corresponded to a theme song. Featured on the list were shows such as That’s So Raven, The Parkers, My Wife and Kids, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The songs were played through a speaker by BSU member Ivory Burris, and those who guessed correctly received either candy or popcorn. Grimes joined Burris at the table, mentioning the importance of these specific Black sitcoms.  

     “It’s nice to have people on television that look like us,” Grimes said. “We have shows on the list like The Proud Family, which people know of, but there are also some shows that people would really have to think about, like In Living Color. It’s good for people to know that there’s such a broad range of TV shows.” 

     Thursday’s table was reserved for more of an educational exhibit with the theme of “Black Inventors.” Highlighted through informational posters were 6 inventors including James E. West, who created a tiny device known as the electret microphone. Joining West was Patricia Cowings, who crafted a space suit that warned astronauts before they experienced sickness. To gain information about the various inventors, students could simply go up to the table and read the posters, which was managed by Jones.  

     “This table really showcases all the things we wouldn’t have had without black excellence and success,” Jones said.  

     Going back to a more interactive experience, BSU’s Lunch and Learn series was wrapped up with a Kahoot based on the information from the tables throughout the week. Three rounds were played on screen in the Serve, making it accessible for everyone to play. Although 20 people participated in the games, most of the students had their eyes glued to the screen, seeing the results unfold. Each of the top three players from the games were put into a raffle to win a tablet. The winner, Mary Marugu, was announced at Wild N’ Out, which was another event hosted by BSU.  

     “I won the tablet and the Kahoot because I know my Black History,” Marugu said. “Growing up, my dad really had me into our Black culture, so I knew a lot of the shows already. February is one of my favorite months and I love Black history month.”  

     As the Lunch and Learn week came to an end, Jones reflected on the success of BSU’s events.  

     “It’s been pretty successful,” Jones said. “We’ve had new faces show up and it wasn’t the same people, which was kind of the goal. I do wish there had been more students to participate in more of the educational events because we would rather have people get educated about things they didn’t previously know.”  

     Keeping up with the annual tradition, Jones is certain that BSU Week will continue educating students for many more years. In case you missed the Lunch and Learn events, BSU will be hosting Gospel Lee, a gospel performer, in Anderson Auditorium at 7pm on Friday, February 28.