City, university celebrates Black History Month

Written By Trish Miralles

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The City of Pittsburgh celebrates Black History Month with a full series of events, ranging from fun activities presented by the university to highly anticipated networking series hosted by Pittsburgh’s minority-focused organizations.

This Thursday, Feb. 13, Point Park’s Black Student Union (BSU) will host an open-mic lounge style event from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Located in Lawrence Hall Ballroom, this Valentine’s Day themed event will serve a large assortment of snacks and refreshments, topped with a chocolate fountain.

BSU will also host Black Cinema Movie ‪Night on Monday, Feb. 17, starting at 9 p.m. where they will screen highly-regarded films in the black community for students of all backgrounds to enjoy. Snacks and other concessions will be available for purchase with proceeds directly going towards the club.

For BSU secretary and senior psychology major Ryan Dunston, Black History Month holds a profound meaning. Dunston describes his role as “a strong win for both my ancestors and my community…I’m standing for everything they’ve ever lost so that we can have everything we deserve.”

When brainstorming ideas for events and movie screenings, Dunston considers which factors that would “draw members in and what is relevant to today’s society while trying to keep it as modern as possible.”

BSU officer and senior broadcasting major Royce Jones has been involved with the club since his first year of college back in 2016. Now as a senior, Jones applies the communication skills he learned over the years to his practicum with the organization.

“As a black person, every month is Black History Month to me,” Jones said. “I wake up every morning proud to be who I am. The black community is rich with history, culture, creativity, passion and success. Every day should be a celebration.”

Jones encourages students and faculty outside of BSU to support the organization.

“They can enrich themselves in the education we offer,” Jones said. “It’s a safe space for students of color to connect and empower each other. We touch on some hot button issues the black community faces today.”

The spirit of Black History Month also extends to nearby areas right outside of campus. This Thursday, Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m., the August Wilson house hosts a reading of the musical play “AfroRoma” led by author and award-winning performing artist Kimberly Ellis.

Ellis describes her play as “a romantic comedy as well as a scholarly memoir that is guaranteed to make you laugh and smile.” This event is located at the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center at 1852 Enoch Street, Pittsburgh. Entrance is free, but RSVP is required.

BSU member and senior PR and advertising major Isaiah Warfield renders this event as a “huge step and inspiration for black fiction authors” to take up space in the literary world.

Thursday, Feb. 20 is the most anticipated “In My Shoes – Speakers Series” starting ‪from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Located in the Union Trust Building at 501 Grant Street, this networking event will candidly discuss diversity in the professional workplace.

There will be two panels, each composing of highly-esteemed Black leaders in big tech companies and professional sports franchises. These panelists will also share their advice on overcoming workplace obstacles for those who seek to follow their footsteps.