BSU’s holds African Fest in honor of Black Heritage Month

By Kelly Marshall

Black Heritage Month will observe the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington this year, and NIU has several celebratory events planned out.

Hosted by the Black Student Union (BSU) organization, the African Heritage Festival kicked off this month’s event series by celebrating the history of the African culture from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Recreational Center.

“Even though the African community celebrates Black History Month, we do it in average repeated programs,” said Adewale Adetunji, junior political science major and program coordinator. “I came up with the idea over the summer because I wanted to do something different with the position I have with BSU. I wanted to have a lively feeling where we don’t just talk about African culture, but we are surrounded by it.”

The Center for Black Studies will recognize different organizations and programs every day throughout the month.

“I knew that it was going to get a decent turn out because of Black History month,” Adetunji said. “Because of the weather, I knew that it might be an average turnout, but it was everything I ever dreamed about with the performers and different vendors there, also.”

The festival was filled with many vendors selling different African trinkets from throughout the Chicagoland area.

“It was a good time,” said Timothy Wallace, senior physical therapy major. “A lot of students weren’t able to make it because of the weather, but overall it was a good turn out.”

A variety of African cultural food was available for those in attendance, as well.

“This is one of the better programs. It was in tune with this month,” said Joshua Thompson, senior marketing major and assistant director of academic and education. “It appealed to diversity and not just African Americans.”

For more information on Black Student Union, follow it on Twitter as @NIU_BSU, email [email protected] or call 815-753-1709.