Commemorating a Historic Event During Black History Month

 Photograph taken from the 1968 takeover of the Bursar's Office

Photograph taken from the 1968 takeover of the Bursar's Office

February is National Black History Month, a time to celebrate the black community while also recognizing the unique difficulties experienced by black Americans. This year, Black History Month holds even more significance for Northwestern as the takeover of the Bursar's office by the black student union has its 50th anniversary. In 1968, a group of over 100 students gained the attention of the administration by staging a 38 hour long sit-in, ending with the students giving the university a list of eight demands.

On February 9, this Bursar’s office takeover will be commemorated with an event entitled Black Student Movements in the 21st Century. Held in the Rebecca Crown Center of Hardin Hall at 2 p.m., the event will feature a speech by Provost Jonathan Holloway followed by a roundtable discussion with five former campus activists. Overall, the event hopes to examine the connection between the takeover of the Bursar’s Office and recent student-led protests while encouraging current students to continue the work of progress.

Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) invites students to celebrate Black History Month with a fun, off-campus field trip to see a screening of Black Panther on February 16. The newest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther features a black superhero from Wakanda, a fictional African country. Interested students should follow the MSA Facebook page where a registration link to get free tickets will be coming soon.

Students looking to stay involved outside of Black History Month, can join one of the groups hosted in the Black House, such as The Collective, a group open to all Northwestern students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni who identify as men of color. In their monthly meetings, the group works to explore masculinity while building a supportive community. Their next meeting will be February 18 from 5–7 p.m., anyone interested in joining is welcome. The Black House also holds monthly open meetings to discuss current issues and events at Northwestern and beyond. This meeting will be from 6–9 p.m. on February 27, so feel free to come participate and learn more about the Northwestern community.

 One result of the Bursar's Office sit-in was the creation of the Black House as an on-campus center for black students and faculty

One result of the Bursar's Office sit-in was the creation of the Black House as an on-campus center for black students and faculty

For more information about these and other upcoming events, visit the Multicultural Student Affairs webpage. National Black History Month is an important time to reflect on the progress that has been made, while also looking forward to the future and recognizing what still needs to be accomplished. As college students, we have an especially great opportunity to improve society if we work together within our Northwestern community.