Approximately 150 students attended the annual social event on Monday, Nov. 6., which kicked off with a performance of the black national anthem. The celebration featured DJ TGIF, who played songs representing the evolution of hip-hop, and Mwaikazi Lajas, the founder of True African Performance Dance Company, who gave a presentation on the importance of the relationship between the arts and culture.
This year’s theme, “Solidarity Through Music,” focused on the ways music has historically united black people as a means of protest and resistance. Past themes have highlighted black education, academic excellence and finance.
Lajas said African Americans should use the arts to bring attention to pertinent issues.
“The arts are a way for us to come together on common ground,” Lajas said. “More importantly, we have to use the arts to promote our ideals and bring awareness to certain issues.”
Ian Farmer, the political correspondent for BSU and a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, introduced the event and explained why Black Solidarity Day is important not only nationally, but on BU’s campus.
“It’s so important in this political climate because people are emboldened by the current occupant in the White House,” Farmer said. “It’s important now more than ever to have a united front politically and socially.”
Various multicultural organizations tabled at the event, including the Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program, the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and Powerful United Ladies Striving to Elevate (PULSE). According to Farmer, the event was one of the many ways that the University’s minority community shows solidarity.
“BU is a predominantly white institution and with all these organizations representing different aspects of blackness, it’s always good to just come together and stand in solidarity,” Farmer said. “We’re all trying to do the same thing, and that is provide safe spaces for people of color on campus and to liberate the minority population of this campus.”
Chantel Ayuso, the public relations chair for PULSE and a senior majoring in psychology, said she left the event feeling empowered and motivated by all of the other organizations that came to show their support for Black Solidarity Day.
“It’s important for us to show up to things like this to show that we are united and to let each other know that we’re here,” Ayuso said.
Josh Gonzalez, vice president for multicultural affairs for the Student Association and a senior majoring in geography, said the event provided an important service for students of color on campus.
“It’s something that’s necessary,” Gonzalez said. “It’s important for our minority groups to remember who they are and that they matter because we comprise such a small portion of the school but we contribute a lot to it.”