Monday, April 12, 2021

AKEBA hosts ‘Diversity Week’ banquet

As part of Plattsburgh State’s Diversity Week AKEBA will be hosting one of their events, The Black History Month Banquet this Saturday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in the ACC Ballrooms to celebrate the “black essence and the perseverance of being black around the country.”

Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” in February 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian, scholar, educator and publisher, according to an article on A&E’s

AKEBA, the Black Student Union, continues this tradition at every year at PSUC.

AEKBA President Lateef Wearrien said he hopes the event will educate students deeply on Black History Month and have a better understanding of what it is to be African-American in the late sixties and the present day.

Wearrien said this event will open with performances, including poetry, singing and African Zuzu, which is Kenyan acrobatics. Students will also enjoy “soul food,” which is a variety of cuisine that originated in African-American culture.

“It is closely related to the cuisine of the southern United States,” Wearrien said. “The term may have originated in the mid-1960s when soul was a common word used to describe African-American culture.”

PSUC alumna Eunice Holt, class of ’71, will be returning to campus to speak about her college experience as an African-American woman.

“She’s coming back to give her perspective,” Wearrien said.

PSUC junior business and management information systems major Dyon Stevenson said she supports AKEBA’s upcoming event. Stevenson is proud that AKEBA is sponsoring an event to celebrate Black History Month.

“Everyone thinks Black History Month is solely based on slavery and that we came up from that,” Stevenson said. “But AKEBA is doing something that has to do with black culture as a whole and not just on its negative history.”

PSUC senior entrepreneurship major Sam Koroma said he is very proud that AKEBA is informing the importance of Black History Month to students here at Plattsburgh State.
“It is imperative for everyone to just celebrate,” Koroma said.

PSUC senior history major Ali Sellers said he would like to attend the AKEBA banquets every semester. After attending his first banquet in his sophomore year, he realized that he did not want to miss out on any other AKEBA events.

“People should attend this event because it is a great opportunity to get to know different people,” Sellers said. “If you’re not African-American, it will give you an opportunity to learn a very unique culture.”

PSUC junior biology major Marving Francois said America shouldn’t celebrate Black History Month for only one month.

“I should be able to talk about black accomplishments on a daily basis and not just in the month of February,” Francois said. “That’s not the only month we should be proud.”

He also said he wants to go to AKEBA’s banquet to listen to what Holt has to say about being an African American woman from the sixties in Plattsburgh.

“Black History Month is a period when the younger generation can take time to sit and listen to their elders share heartfelt moments of their own experiences and struggles when they were young,” according to an article on the University of the Pacific’s website.

Member of the University of the Pacific’s Black History Month planning committee Cris T. Clay said, “It is also an opportunity to correct many of the misrepresentations, misunderstandings and fallacies of African American culture.”

AKEBA’s annual banquet is the culmination of Black History Month. This event is open to all students, faculty, staff and anyone from the community.

Koroma said PSUC is celebrating Black History Month because it is important, and he is proud that The Black History Month Banquet will be a part of the campus’s Diversity Week activities that AKEBA will sponsor.

Wearrien said he expects a large number of people to attend the event.

“Doors open at 6:30 and show should start at around 7,” he said.

Students can get the ticket at for $6 and non-students can get tickets for $7.

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