Black History Month at WPU

By Emily Freer

William Peace University’s Black Student Union hosted their annual Black History Month Jeopardy! event Feb. 9. Like the TV show that the event is named after, students gathered in Flowe 110 to test their knowledge.

Marerika Monroe, a senior majoring in musical theatre, enjoyed attending the event and competing with her teammate, Mary-Margret Hanna.

“I signed up for this event because I wanted to learn more about my African-American culture,” said Monroe, “But also I just wanted to have fun with friends and have time to get away from homework and classes.”

Categories over the span of two rounds followed by a “Final Jeopardy” round ranged from government, 90s trends, cinema, quotes, Greek life, books, and more. Students like Monroe were able to share and celebrate Black culture. 

“The question about the transgender woman for going to school at Yale then the school accepting her,” said Monroe, “I never even knew about that topic so I learned something new that day from that question.”

Nadia Pittman, a senior majoring in exercise and sports science who serves as the Vice President of WPU’s Black Student Union, says that BSU holds this event each year to get students engaged and intrigued about African American history. 

“This event gets students involved in a competitive way while also learning about African American culture,” said Pittman. “It is a vital point to educate and learn about the African Americans who contributed to this country and paved a way for many other African Americans.”

BSU’s next event will be the 3rd Annual Ebony Ball on Feb. 24, 2022 from 7-11 p.m. at the American Institute of Architecture Building.

Other events on campus include Poetic Vibes on Feb. 16 hosted by Peer Tutoring and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, “Come Dance With Us” also on Feb. 16 hosted by The Prancing Pacers, “Talk Black” on Feb. 18 hosted by 15 Below, and “DEI Bookclub: Such a Fun Age” on Feb. 22nd hosted by The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. For more information, check out the Division of Student Life’s Instagram here.

Coming together to learn about history with your peers is one of things that Pittman partakes in to celebrate Black History Month. 

“My favorite part about Black History Month is celebrating those who came before me who paved the path for many African Americans like myself,” said Pittman, “It’s important to celebrate and thank your ancestors who came before you, because without them where will we be right now?”

Marerika Monroe with her teammate, Mary-Margret Hana. Photo by Emily Freer.

Monroe says she loves Black History Month because she can celebrate with all the people in her life. 

“My favorite part of Black History Month is actually just  being together with all the melanin in the world, my friends who are the same skin tone as me,” she says, “But I also love the fact that I have friends that support me even though they’re not my skin tone. It’s so great to embrace my culture and to still know that my Blackness is beautiful.”

Pittman echoes Monroe’s statement by reflecting on the event. 

“My favorite part about the event was how everyone from the teams, spectators, and the BSU Executive Board were all involved in the jeopardy,” Pittman said, “There was a sense of  unity and vibe amongst everyone that made the environment a great experience.”

As Black History Month continues, Pittman encourages all to come to events and meetings to learn more and engage with one another. 

“From myself and the BSU Executive Board we welcome everyone who is interested in joining BSU,” Pittman said, “We welcome everyone who wants to come together to showcase and support African American culture on William Peace campus.”