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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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MSC WBAC celebrates Black history

Celebrate+Black+History+wristbands+at+the+West+African+Film+Festival+at+Rudder+Tower+701+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+9%2C+2023

‘Celebrate Black History’ wristbands at the West African Film Festival at Rudder Tower 701 on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023

Students celebrate Black History Month and engage in community events hosted by the Memorial Student Center Woodson Black Awareness Committee, or MSC WBAC.

MSC WBAC is an organization that helps students become more educated on the culture of people of African descent and prioritizes community involvement and experiences for students to learn about the importance of Black culture and its many aspects. For the month of February, the committee has planned three events to honor of Black History Month.

WBAC has had a steady impact on the Aggie community since 1969, and is open to anyone willing to learn or share information about black culture and history. MSC WBAC creates a safe space to learn about Black culture, geoscience junior Trinity Boudreaux said.

“The purpose of it is to create events and a community for Black students on campus and to have a space for them to learn about different parts of the diaspora through our events and different social programs”, Boudreaux said.

Psychology senior Christiana Salone said this organization became known as the Woodson Black Awareness Committee nearly 35 years after it was founded.

“[The name] was changed in 2004 to honor Dr. Woodson’s legacy as a scholar and educator, and as the creator of Black History Month,” Salone said.

The events for Black History Month are not only meant to educate the campus community, but also raise awareness for Black student organizations in order to aid students in finding their own sense of community at Texas A&M. Kevin Johnson, Class of 1984, said these events are put together for a purpose that can sometimes reach beyond just the Aggie community.

“In addition to the campus student body, staff and faculty also have a way to engage in discussions and learn about black history in general through these programs and many of these events that also cater to the Bryan-College Station community,” Johnson said. “We even have some students that will be joining us from Prairie View A&M.”

One event that the WBAC hosted to kick off their Black History month events was the MLK Breakfast that was held with Bernice A. King, Ph.D., Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest daughter, as guest speaker. Boudreaux said the breakfast was a huge hit, bringing in many students and faculty members.

“One of our biggest events that we just had was the MLK breakfast,” Boudreaux said. “We had Dr. Bernice King [there] and every seat was full. We had full attendance. Dr. King was a phenomenal speaker to have at that event. I’d say it was one of our most well-accomplished events recently.”

The last Black History Month event the WBAC is expected to host, on Feb. 28,  is called “The Resistance at Texas A&M”, which is a conversation about Black resistance with Professor Rebecca Hankins, Ph.D., as guest speaker, Salone said.

Being a part of this organization has helped her better understand the many different facets of culture and life at A&M, Boudreaux said.

“I like the emphasis on the education part of it,” Boudreaux said. “It’s allowed me to understand certain aspects of what’s important to the university, and also where culture and community fits into that and just overall, a better understanding of A&M’s core values in a way. It’s allowed me to learn those things and I think it’d have a positive impact on anyone trying to figure out those things as well.”

Learning and participating in these organizations and events is beneficial to students of all cultures, as it continues to unite the Aggie community as one, Johnson said.

“[A&M] is different than it was,” Johnson said. The diversity is a lot different than it was certainly even when I was an undergraduate in the [19]80s. It’s going to continue, most likely, to become even more diverse in the future.”

Organizations and events such as these are the more reason that people should take the time to learn about cultures that we’re unfamiliar with, and even take time to learn more about their own culture and history, Johnson said.

“The sheer volume of students, faculty, and the staff that we have, we have lots of people who are specialists in lots of different areas,” Johnson said. “So we put all that together, there’s no telling where we could go in a positive way.”

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About the Contributor
Sydnei Miles
Sydnei Miles, Head Life & Arts Editor
Sydnei Miles is a communication sophomore and journalism minor from Houston, Texas. She began reporting for The Battalion in the fall 2022 semester covering culture and community events happening on and around campus. Since January 2024, Sydnei has served as The Battalion's head Life & Arts editor and previously served as the assistant Life & Arts editor for some of the spring 2023 semester and for the fall 2023 semester.
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