“The Black Experience” hosted at UW-Eau Claire

The BSA collaborated with local Black businesses in the Eau Claire area

Bridget Maxwell

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Photo by Bridget Maxwell

A showcase of the unique experience of Black identity.

February recognizes those who built the United States from the ground up. Black History Month is a time for acknowledgment and reflection

However, in no way is Black History solely confined to the month of February — Black History is history. 

This year’s theme is Black resistance. 

This reflects that “African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogrom and police killings since our arrival upon these shores,” according to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

“The Black Experience,” is a collaboration between the Black Student Alliance (BSA) and African Student Association (ASA) to “uplift one another and give our community the experience of Black excellence,” according to the student organizations. 

Jasmine Rosario, president of BSA, said, “This is a way to showcase BIPOC businesses in the area so students can meet, network and support within the community.”

Featured at the event were local Black-owned businesses like Hair Stuff LLC, Legacy Hair and Beauty Supply and Measha and Co., with catering from C and T Soul Food, a local Eau Claire restaurant. 

“There is a disconnect between small businesses and students, especially BIPOC small businesses. This event is to bridge the gap between students and the community,” Rosario said. 

There was live entertainment which featured a music performance, a speaker and a poetry read. 

“This was mostly student planned so it was inspiring to see our work pay off. I hope this event continues after I graduate,” Destini Wilson, vice president of the Black Student Alliance, said. 

Other events will be held during the rest of the month of February to celebrate Black History Month. 

From 4:30 – 9:00 p.m., on Feb. 17, in Davies Student Center, there will be a screening of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Following the screening, there will be a dinner, a faculty panel and trivia games with prizes. 

Jelani Cobb, author, writer and educator is presenting an educational lecture entitled “The Half-Life of Freedom, Race and Justice in America Today,” which will take place from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m., on Feb. 22, in Schofield Auditorium. 

Cobb is a Peabody Award-winning journalist, a writer for The New Yorker and dean of Colombia Journalism School. 

His lecture will focus on the intersection of race, politics, history and American culture. 

Multicultural Student Services will also be hosting “Black Essence,” which will be held from 5 – 9 p.m., on Feb. 28, in the Ojibwe Grand Ballroom at Davies Center. 

This immersive event will “center on Black creative expression and challenge the Eau Claire community’s understanding of Black culture, Black history, Black gender expression and more,” according to the MSS event page. 

Spoken word artists Diamond Forde and Nabila Lovelace will open the evening. Closing the event will be Uncommon Denominator, voted Chippewa Valley’s best cover band.

Admission is $10 for college students and community members 18 and under. Adults and community members above 18 will pay $20.

Maxwell can be reached at [email protected].