Students participate in "Blackout Wednesday"
Updated: Feb 4
Belmont University’s Black Student Association started February off with a demonstration. To mark the beginning of Black History Month, BSA called all members of the Belmont community to sport all black as a visual form of solidarity and support for racial justice and equity. Three students provided perspective into why they wore black and what Black History Month truly means. Joyous Walker
She wore black to represent what’s bigger than her. In 2022, Belmont’s population for students who identify as Black or African American was 5.5%. “I’m wearing black in solidarity for all the black people across the country. Especially at a Predominantly White Institution, I think it’s important to be proud of your culture,” Walker said. Painting the big picture is a large part of what Black History Month is about. “It means coming together as a people, especially when it may seem like everybody else in the world is against you. It’s important to come together,” Walker said. While it’s important to reflect on black history, it’s equally important to bond in the present. Elisa Osborne
She did it in solidarity, dressed accordingly for her black peers. “I’m wearing black today in solidarity with my black sisters and brothers. It really means a lot to me to just celebrate this month and make sure that we feel seen, and we feel heard, especially at a PWI,” said Osborne. For Osborne, Black History Month signifies a moment for unity. Osborne doesn’t see a lot of people of color on campus, but the BSA Blackout effort helped make her feel like a part of community. “It’s also to honor the people that come before us who champion black rights and rights for black people in general, women’s rights, Black LGBTQ rights. It’s just nice to have that be seen,” said Osborne. Marcus Knight
He wore black because it started a necessary conversation. Knight believes it’s hard to talk about equity and equality at times, but Black History Month provides an opportunity for everyone to come together to make a difference. “Black is a really cool and active way for us to actually be involved and show people that we care about stuff instead of just simply talking about it and restating it in conversation that we have every February,” Knight said. Black History Month is about reinforcing the idea of shining light on black culture.
“Number one, just the name alone kind of implies that Black History is not taught all year long, which is one of the problems,” Knight said. I think it definitely should be taught all year long: Black stories, Black art, Black culture, it all belongs throughout the year,” Knight said. “I’m hoping that this month is kind of a launching pad, maybe a good starting place for people to actually get connected with Black leaders, Black creatives, things like that.” For Knight, Blackout Wednesday was the beginning of a time to be “extra black” and to “celebrate everything about black culture,” he said. This article was written by Ben Burton