Illustrations by Nika Harrington

Black History Month events to attend

As we approach the final week of Black History Month, celebrating and honoring the Black community is still in motion on the Hill. Read on for a short calendar of all the final events of the month and some organizers’ perspectives behind them.


The Soapbox 

What it is: Sponsored by the Intercultural Student Engagement Center, the Soapbox is a facilitated discussion where people are encouraged to speak their minds on problems within and affecting the Black community. 

Rayna Taylor, a freshman from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will be a co-host of the discussion. She said she hopes the Soapbox will reflect the theme of this year’s Black History Month celebration, “Black Resistance.” 

Taylor said conversations around race in school are being attacked through legislation, even at the collegiate level. 

“We want to have a conversation where people can talk about race because those are important for us to move forward,” Taylor said. “Especially with ‘Black Resistance’ being the theme this year, why not resist the system that’s trying to keep us in place?”

Michael Biug, a freshman from Nashville, is co-hosting the event. He said he hopes participants will benefit from a platform for healthy discourse.

“I hope people leave with an open mind because in this discussion, nothing is stupid and nothing is censored. It may even build some relationships,” he said.

Date: Monday, Feb. 20

Location: Downing Student Union 2113

Time: 6 p.m.

Soul Food Luncheon 

What it is: The Intercultural Student Engagement Center is partnering with Fresh Food Company for its annual Soul Food Luncheon. They will have fried chicken, greens and a variety of other foods, with the chance to win prizes. You’ll need to use your student I.D. to purchase the meal.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 21

Location: Fresh Food Company in Downing Student Union

Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


The N-Word Discussion

What it is: This event will encourage open discourse over the meaning of the N-word through a facilitated discussion encouraging participation from all diverse backgrounds.

Co-facilitator Detrevius Hibbit, a sophomore from Bowling Green, said he wants people to understand it’s more than just a word, despite people using it daily.  

“Through questions, I want the takeaway to be that it’s a derogatory word and not just something that we use on an everyday basis,” he said.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 21

Location: Downing Student Union 2113

Time: 6:30 p.m.

The 411 on the Five-O

What it is: The Social Work Student Union, Association of Black Social Workers and the WKU chapter of NAACP will host a discussion on how to interact with the police.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 21

Location: Downing Student Union 3006

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Walk in Your Excellence

What it is: Blaq Art Nouveau, a club centered around artistic expression and creativity, is hosting an event for participants to decorate a pair of their shoes. Participants must bring their own pair, and all decorative materials will be provided by Blaq Art Nouveau.

Social Media Manager Jasmine Lively, a sophomore from Nashville, said it will be a fun way for people to get together and celebrate their love of shoes. 

“I think it celebrates uniqueness in Blackness as a whole as well,” she said. “Our people got to where we are through our shoes, through marching.”

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 22

Location: Downing Student Union 2085

Time: 7 p.m.

The Black Experience 

What it is: Sponsored by the Epsilon Theta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, The Black Experience event will feature poets, speakers, dancers and other artists to give a timeline of events that shaped the Black experience in America. “The Black Experience will expose the generational plight of Black people in America,” according to WKU’s Black History Month website.

Date: Thursday, Feb. 23

Location: Downing Student Union Auditorium

Time: 6 p.m.

Black History Month Trivia Night

What it is: The Mauhurin Honors College Scholars of Color will put on Black History Month themed Kahoot games that can be played for prizes. 

Date: Thursday, Feb. 23

Location: Honors College and International Center 2007

Time: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.


“Moonlight” Viewing and Discussion

What it is: This event, hosted by the Black Student Alliance and Queer Student Union, will be a presentation of the 2017 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, “Moonlight.” 

According to WKU’s Black History Month website, “Moonlight” follows a young Black man’s journey growing up and grappling with identity and sexuality while fostering connections and learning truths. 

A discussion will follow the event.

Date: Monday, Feb. 27

Location: Downing Student Union 2086

Time: 6 p.m.

Melanin Illustrative Gallery Show

What it is: Artist and illustrator Aaliyah Ellis created a gallery of art pieces in honor of Black History Month that will be featured in the Intercultural Student Engagement Center. Students and visitors are welcome to observe the art through the end of February.

Dates: Through Tuesday, Feb. 28

Location: Downing Student Union 2041

Jonesville Fresco: Behind the Scenes Exhibit

What it is: This exhibition follows the history of Jonesville, the Black community that existed  before it was demolished for WKU’s construction. The artists use this exhibit to detail the timeline of Jonesville and document its legacy.

Dates: Now through Friday, April 14

Location: The Fine Arts Center Corridor Gallery and the Kentucky Museum