BSA’s Conscious Circles: What Does it Mean to Be a Black Student?

What does it mean to be a black student? That was the debate Thursday night at the first of many Black Student Alliance (BSA) Conscious circles (C2), one of three BSA events a month.

Students from different organizations, cultures and races came together in the Multicultural Center (MCC) of the MSU Union to discuss this and other topics.

The groups in attendance were African Student Union, Successful Black Men and Women, Black Poets Society, National Association of Black Men United, an assortment of Black Caucus’, several members from the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions (OCAT) and National Association of Black Journalists, among others.

So what is it like to be a black student? Is it harder to succeed? Is it harder to fit in? Both are a possibility seeing as only 7.4 percent of MSU students are black, and that’s just the Black student population. The African students have issues of their own.

Winnie Imbuchi of the African Student Union said sadly that the people who ignored her the most were African Americans.

The circle sat in for an hour discussing the ills done to them and those around them, making statements such as,

“When I’m the only black person in the group, they disregard what I said as if I was stupid.”

“They generalize us into one ignorant person.”

“It’s like they have an expectation of failure.”

Many students also have issues being the only black student in classes, groups, even majors, be it Agricultural Business Management, or political theory classes.

There was also much debate over the “I am a Black MSU Student” t-shirts. BSA first started wearing the shirts at Sparticipation, and it has garnered positive results. There was a rush to sign up for the shirts before and after the meeting.

They debated the possible responses the shirt would receive, all hypothetical responses; we all shall see once the shirts are delivered.

The final issue of the night was whether there is black unity on campus, which was the most highly debated one. The general consensus was that there is some unity amongst the black students, but there is always room for improvement.

By Ashiyr Pierson

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