Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

Africana Expo kicks off Black History Month

By: Gisel Saillant

Photos courtesy of Gisel Saillant

 

With the jokes made about Black History Month being the shortest month of the year, the days in February are used to measure the equality between racial groups in the U.S. Last week, UMass seized the opportunity to make every day count by kicking off Black History Month with the “Africana Expo” in the Campus Center concourse on Monday, Feb. 2.

 

I wanted to comment on this particular event and how I have experienced black history. The “Africana Expo,” was an expression of the inclusive properties Black History Month has obtained, with “black” constituting a universal experience. On the concourse you could connect the shores of where the movement of the African Diaspora has reached. Registered Student Organizations like the African Student Union and the Black Student Union consider themselves part of the movement.

 img_0302

As I was browsing around each display board, I got a word from Banzi Pires, one of the event organizers, as drum players were setting up their instruments. I smiled and mentioned to him how I came prepared because I wore my “good” jeans. When those drums started playing, I said, “Finally, UMass is alive!”

 

Some people wished they brought their earplugs with them to the safety of the Blue Wall. I bumped into Banzi while I made my rounds and noticed how attentive he was to the crowd passing by. He pointed out to me the sour expressions some of the passers-by had to the drums playing. This was fascinating to me, as some acted completely indifferent to the drums being played. They didn’t even flinch to a beat.

 img_0311

Others felt their shoulders tense up as the sound made them cringe. Most notably, two elderly women had conveniently placed their hands over the ears to block the sound completely. No offense was taken on my part, because these expressions solidified the experience between myself and the people that recognize this instrument as a foundation to their culture and identity.

 

Gisel Saillant can be reached at gsaillan@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment