Black is beautiful


Ky McCombe

Junior media arts major Dalon Williams (right) and junior film studies CJ Hoze (left) take to the stage and perform some dances representing black culture for the annual Black is Beautiful event, Thursday night, Feb. 3, 2022.

Brooklyn Stevenson, Campus News Editor

The Black Student Union and Lambda Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. presented the first annual Black history program called “My Black is Beautiful” on Feb. 3, 2022. The program welcomed people of every race, color, and creed to attend the informative and entertaining event. It showcased Black history, Black culture and showed that Black is and has always been beautiful. 

It was a night filled with singers, dances, and presentation talks dedicated to Black history. In between the performances, the hosts played Black history trivia with the audience. They infused the history of Black culture with the Black culture today reminding us that although time has passed, historical African Americans who paved the way for future generations should not be forgotten, and Black culture should not be neglected.

Black Student Union President Keshawn Williams, a senior majoring in political science and minoring in French says, “This program means to me basically what Black history and Black culture is. We exhibited many of those exhibitions out here tonight which I’m very proud that we succeeded in doing that. But it’s also to bring us people of color together to see what our worth is and our cons and our flaws.”

The coordinators and hosts of the event spoke about how much of a privilege it was to be able to start a program like this one, expressing the emotion and passion they have for the community they have, and the work they put into making sure black students feel accepted on campus. Senior Angelique Compton, majoring in psychology and minoring in chemistry and biology in particular was said to have originally presented the idea or her vision for this program to her peers and to BSU.

“This event means so much to me. Just being able to bring the Black community together at a predominantly white institution is such an amazing thing,” said Compton. “ I had this vision to do this because as Black students we struggle so much with diversity on campus and oppression. So, being able to bring us together and highlight our Blackness just meant so much to me.”

Between the showcase of hair products for women of color by Sharva Billings and spiritual dances from students like Dalon Williams and EJ Manns, the audience was all in. Not to mention the beautiful songs sung by voices like CJ Hoze and rapping by Elliot James. Many UW-Whitewater students and returning students were excited to speak about their thoughts, their feelings on the program and showed it in the audience throughout the show by hyping up their peers who were performing.

“I thought that tonight was amazing. I loved the program. I love the idea,” said Postgrad student Kiara Russel, “This is one of the first times that Whitewater in my years have seen a Black history program. So, it’s always amazing to see the Black community come together and express their pride and being who they are and showing everyone our culture. The performances were great and I had a great time.”

To close out the evening Dr. Antanya Wesley gave an emotional, heartfelt speech about how it is to look at the community that Black students have built for each other here on campus.

“I couldn’t even sit still in my seat tonight. The creativity, the innovation, the pride, the talent, the rhythm, the soul, the swag, the fashion, the hair, the diversity, you all should be so proud for those who identify as Black in this room,” says Dr. Wesley.

An article cannot capture nor put into words the greatness and energy of this program. The immense amount of support and love in the room was overwhelming. 

“As a people, we are often placed in a box and seen as a monolithic group, but tonight it was a small glimpse into how we push boundaries, how we create our own way, regardless of what is said or believed about what we can do, regardless of what limits are placed on us. And when I see young people like you every day on the campus that’s predominantly white, and you all build a community, you support each other, you work together. You brought Black culture, Black beauty to this campus.”

Dr. Antanya Wesley did not have a Black community like this when she was in college. She had to figure out that Black was beautiful to her. She encourages everyone to continue to support each other and to continue to surround themselves with this beauty on campus.

There will be more to come on different programs and events being put together for Black History Month. Black Student Union also meets every Tuesday at 5 p.m and they are celebrating the whole month with different events, movies and other things that consist around Black history month. More upcoming information can be found on the Lambda Xi 1908 sorority page and from NPHC.