App State, BSA celebrates Black History Month

App State, BSA  celebrates Black  History Month

Laney Ruckstuhl

Appalachian State University is celebrating Black History Month with a wide variety of events throughout February.

Appalachian’s Black Student Association is responsible for most of the planning, with help from the Multicultural Student Development office, Appalachian Popular Programming Society and other organizations across campus.

“The entire month of February will be filled with programs created by minority groups all over campus, all of which represent the diversity within our culture,” said Aisha Cotton, the BSA programing co-chair.

The events will include “Black Cinema” movies, lectures, discussions, hip-hop dancing, a bake sale, an annual blood drive and more.

BSA Chairwoman Candace Mollison said she believes that their organization is carrying on a legacy on campus by holding these events, which dates back to 1970.

“We are not here to have our names plastered everywhere, but instead to do work,” Mollison said. “The work that we do creates a legacy here on campus. This is why the Black Student Association is one of the oldest organizations on campus, and it will continue to be so.”

BSA was started almost 40 years ago as The Appalachian Black Cultural Organization, said Anthony Brumfield, BSA adviser and the assistant director of multicultural student engagement.

“BSA is the oldest minority organization on campus,” Brumfield said. “What people don’t understand is that a lot of cultural organizations on this campus started because of BSA.”

Brumfield said that BSA created an African-American Cultural Center, which then became the Multicultural Center and is now the Multicultural Student Center.

Brumfield said BSA stresses the importance of students from all backgrounds to celebrate black history.

“American history is Black history and Black history is American history,” Brumfield said. “They intertwine.”

BSA Public Outreach Co-Chair Avery Knox said that while BSA’s mission is to provide a place for black students to come together, they aren’t an organization exclusively for black students.

“Any student that’s interested in learning, service and making new friends is more than welcome to join our ranks,” Knox said. “Our goal is to give back to our campus, as well as to add to it.”

Aside from the events that will take place in February, BSA is responsible for other events on campus throughout the school year, including a Kwanzaa celebration and various community service projects in Boone.

“We enjoy being able to help and inform the people around us,” said Savalius Swain, BSA awards and archives co-chair.

Swain said BSA’s biggest annual community service project is participation in Adopt-A-Family during Appalachian State’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in November.

Story: Laney Ruckstuhl, Intern News Reporter