A reboot for the Association of Black Students

After seven years of hibernation, OU’s Association of Black Students is active.

After seven years of hibernation, OU’s Association of Black Students is active.

As part of African American Celebration Month, hosted by the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, the association is displaying a movie in Hamlin Lounge at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6. The movie will be announced at the event.

Before the movie, the Taste of Africa event will be from 4-7 p.m. in the banquet rooms of the OC, where students can find members of the association lending help.

The newly active association planned events for students at the beginning of the week. A representative from the Detroit police department talked about police brutality Tuesday, and a panel of students talked about how their race affected their choice of major on Wednesday.

Among other events hosted this school year, the association led a peace march on campus on Nov. 25 out of respect for the controversial court case in Ferguson, Mo.

Asia Anderson, the association’s president, doesn’t want to limit events to OU’s grounds. The association held an off-campus food drive last Thanksgiving and donated the food to the Rochester Area Neighborhood House.

The association has hopes to host as many large events and dances that it used to put on, according to Anderson.

“I just want to make it as big as it used to be,” Anderson said.

The main goals of the association are to raise the graduation rate of OU’s black students and promote unity, according Anderson.

“We’re the voices of underrepresented students on campus,” she said.

Anderson also hopes to keep members interested and continue to host events next year. She is currently on the prowl for an office, since their previous one was taken because of dormancy.

Some in the community think the association is similar to the Black Panthers, a group of revolutionary blacks often associated with violence that was active during the civil rights movement, Anderson said. This isn’t true. The association works toward unity.

“We all have the same struggles as students here,” she said.

“The association was founded in the 1960’s,” said Omar Brown-El, the director of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives and the association’s adviser. “It helped to create the center in the mid-1990’s and helped to establish Martin Luther King Jr.’s remembrance on campus.”

“This student organization gives a voice and place for students to feel connected to the university,” Brown-El said.

Anderson said she’s very happy with the association’s reboot and hopes to continue to be an active part of OU’s community.