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Black History Month Event Expands Narrative, Promotes Advocacy

by Paige Dormann Feb 23, 2024

Fostering a more comprehensive understanding of Black history and culture—that was the goal of one of this year’s Black History Month events on campus.

“Black history is not taught much at most universities, and if it is, it’s not taught well,” said Zahlin Ford '26, a medical studies major and president of the Black Student Union. “If there is some inclusion of Black history, it would be the typical slavery to Civil Rights Movement package. There is so much more to Black history and culture, both past and current, that should be shared for everyone to expand their mindset.” 

The event endeavored to do just that, through mingling, games, and creating Kente cloth magnets. Kente cloths are a renowned African textile with a rich history of symbolism and tradition.

“This event opens a space for learning and conversation about Black history and the importance of acknowledging the contributions of many Black individuals.” 

 Kayliyah Forbes ’25, nursing major and event coordinator for BSU

Other highlights of the night included remarks on the origin of Black History Month as well as a presentation by Meghan Joseph ’19, M’21, an MBA, healthcare administration, and international business graduate. Joseph reflected on her experiences as a person of color at DeSales and touched upon the themes of imposter syndrome, community, toxic systems, and stigma.

“There are those who came before you to make you comfortable, and there are also those who will come after you and hope you made the change for them,” said Joseph. “There’s a time and place to make the change for a better future. Your presence is important and continues to promote creativity and growth on campus.”

Like Joseph, Forbes and Ford emphasized the critical role of advocacy and education in helping others engage with and better understand the Black community’s experiences, culture, and legacy beyond Black History Month.

“Every individual plays a role in preserving and promoting the legacy of Black history because it lives through us,” said Ford.