By: Ali Pilgram
The Black Student Union hosted their third annual “Black Love” event to provide a fun, free and positive atmosphere for Valentine’s Day evening in Blum Student Union on Thursday, Feb.14.
The space was full of lively music and radiating with energy from all of the attendees. Rose petals and balloons were graciously spread all around the room.
Students attending the event enjoyed the night’s festivities, which included delicious treats, a singing word association game preceded by an original poetry reading by Eugenia Wallace called “Riot.” Nah’Ryan Reed-Crawford collaborated with Wallace in the reading by singing “Riot” by Summer Walker.
President of the Black Student Union Melany Aldridge says that having events like Black Love help them achieve their goal to promote a positive image of African American students on campus.
“Well, with this event in particular, people are just coming here and having fun. We need that positivity on campus,” Aldridge said. “We don’t always see positivity when it comes to African American students on campus. I think promoting positive events is definitely something that can help us out a lot.”
Aldridge says that their events are not limited to just members of the Black Student Union, but are open to anyone who is interested in sharing their cause.
“Anybody can come to our events,” Aldridge said. “You don’t have to be a student of color to come to our events.”
Treasurer of the Black Student Union Taylor Jackson expresses how Black Love helps brings African American students together.
“So, a lot of times African Americans are looked at in a negative way. I feel like Black Love promotes the unity of black people,” Jackson said. “So, I feel like this is a way to get black people to come together, whether it’s a relationship or friendships. It’s a way to get them unified.”
Trasean Stepney, a junior at Western, described the overall atmosphere as an authentic representation of African American culture.
“This atmosphere was a great way to celebrate another part of African American culture, which is black love. It’s something very strong and more connected because this race has been through a lot of things,” Stepney said. “So, I believe that this event was a great representation of showing and celebrating the black love that has supported this race for a very long time.”
Members of the Black Student Union pay $10 in membership dues annually. Those funds, along with several fundraisers, help the organization put on events like Black Love.
The evening concluded with a discussion regarding what black love looks like, in which several guests shared their various ideas and opinions about the subject.