Cameron Pollack / Sun File Photo

BSU and allies march from Day Hall to Willard Straight Hall, Sept. 20 2017.

February 11, 2021

Black Students United Holds Virtual Events to Commemorate Black History Month

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Despite the limitations of online events, Cornell Black Students United is finding ways to create a sense of community to celebrate Black History Month.

Despite a successful run in hosting in-person events last year, BSU has pivoted to host a slew of online events this year to commemorate Black History Month.

Co-event coordinator Danielle Frye ’23 said this year’s theme is “All eyes are on you: supporting your Black peers and your Black businesses,” dedicating the month to supporting Black entrepreneurs and business owners on campus. 

Last February, activities included traveling to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., hosting speakers such as criminal justice activist Yusef Salaam, and discussing Black excellence in self, business, community and society. 

Earlier this month, BSU kicked off Black History Month with a spoken word and music event that discussed the profound Black influences in music and spoken word poetry; attendees experienced performances by DJs, rappers and other artists.

Co-chair Lassan Bagayoko ’22 says he is most excited about spotlighting Black recipes at this week’s “History of Food” event. The program will feature cooking and learning from Black chefs in the Cornell community, including chefs from North Star Public House and will offer free prizes to those who attend. 

The events held in the two final weeks will focus on “Beauty, Health and Wellness” and “Clothing and Fashion,” respectively. These weeks will highlight the importance of exercise and mental health and will promote Black-owned fashion and accessory businesses. 

BSU leaders said Black History should be celebrated all year long, but felt that this month is an opportunity to speak candidly and share the lived experiences of Black individuals. Bagayoko added that Black History Month serves as a time to reflect on how Black history has been instrumental in building the world as it is today.

“Black History is not just a month for us,” said BSU freshman coordinator Mar’Quon Frederick ’24. “It is American history, and we should consider it every single day of our lives.”