Eastern’s AAHM kickoff shared historic African American figures


Ashanti Thomas

Qwen Collins, a junior nursing major, tries to win different prizes by playing Black History Bingo Monday night for the African American Heritage Month Kickoff event.

Katja Benz, Campus Reporter

Eastern’s University Board kicked off Black History Month Jan. 31 with a bingo tournament featuring historic and prominent African American figures.

Destiny Dye, senior early childhood education major and organizer of the event, said featuring these individuals was intentional. Dye also said that the colors at the event meant something.

“I think this was an excellent way to kick off Black History Month,” Dye said. “Because who doesn’t love bingo of course, and our bingo cards actually have historical figures who have made an impact not only on us as black people, but on the world as a whole. We have green, yellow and red tablecloths to show the significance of the colors that we have, the red and black and green balloons. I just thought this was a fun way. I was brainstorming a lot of ideas, but this is probably the best one because this one I know is gonna get everybody out.”

Even though Black History Month starts on Feb. 1, this event was a kick off for the other events throughout the month of February.

Tatianna Lemon, a sophomore early childhood education major, said going to kickoff events like this one, help black students come together.

“I feel like since Black History Month is approaching soon, it’s important for African American students like me and other people to get involved because as a person who goes to a public white institution, it’s kind of hard to be with people who are like you,” Lemon said. “It’s hard. You feel like a number sometimes.”

Lemon, who decided to attend the event after seeing a poster for it in an elevator, said that helped. 

Lemon continued by saying that she thought having the poster in the elevator put the event out there for students.

“I feel like putting them in the elevator [helped],” Lemon said. “I felt like that was a great way to get people to come. Having it online as well; have your RA or friends tell you about the events just going on campus.”

The events can also bring the campus community together. Dye thinks that these events are important because it shows support for groups across campus.

“I think it’s good to just show that we are here to support one another as well,” Dye said. “I’ll go and support people, organizations that I don’t even know anything about, so I think it’s really to support and to show people that you care. And you go to events sometimes and then you might end up being on their board or in an organization that you end up joining just from going and having a good time and having that experience and being welcomed by whoever’s hosted.”

Aside from having these experiences, Lemon thinks it is important for people to do their own research on black history.

“First, I feel like they should one if they really [don’t] know much history about African American people, they should probably do some research,” Lemon said. “Try to ask questions to friends or other groups, so they won’t just discriminate or be a little bit rude or ask rude questions about the history, so they can have more knowledge about it.”

Lemon also thought the bingo cards were impactful. “I feel like they did a great job with having the bingo cards with the different and powerful, impactful black African American men and women on there so people can know more information about them,” Lemon said.


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].