The week may be beginning to wind down, but organizers of the annual Black Culture Week are gearing up and continuing to celebrate with movies, bowling, basketball, wine and cheese and the long awaited Yard Show.
Black Culture Week is an annual celebration organized primarily by the Black Student Union in conjunction with a number of other black student organizations. It is designed to educate and celebrate the black community, while allowing others to experience the culture with a number of on-campus activities. This year, the focus of the week’s historical remembrance will be on Ella Baker, who championed civil and human rights for 50 years in the early to mid 1900s.
“Every year I like to see people come together to celebrate the cause because there is a lot of things that people are not aware of,” Tara Glaspie, co-chair of the Black Student Union, said. “We want make more people aware of the culture and become allies with the community.”
The Yard Show is the largest event of the week, and will take place today on the Lagoon Lawn from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Up-and-coming dancers and singers will perform and prizes will be raffled off, courtesy of funding from the Associated Students Finance Board, the UCSB Bookstore, Albertsons and Jamba Juice, said Black Student Union member Deidre Mathis.
“It is the biggest event for Black Culture Week,” Mathis said. “A lot of people look forward to it if you are black or not. It is geared for everyone. We want everyone to be involved with black culture.”
There are also multiple workshops exploring the influence of blacks in society, as well as ones critiquing the lack of diversity on campus and in the community. In addition, the gatherings seek to recruit additional students for the black studies major and minor, Mathis said.
“I want to bridge the community together and create allies,” Mathis, a second-year film & media studies and black studies major, said. “We are here because we love our culture and we put our heart and soul into this every day up until [Black Culture Week]. We work hard for this. We love it.”
While every UC campus has its own version of Black Culture Week, representatives from the various campuses – and from colleges in the area – are visiting UCSB this week as a show of support, said Tim Finney, a fourth-year business economics major.
“It is very important for all communities to come out to get to know each other better and support,” Finney, president of Alpha Phi Alpha, said. “I look forward to it every year.”
Finney also said that all of the black student organizations on campus, including Zeta Phi Beta, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, African Awareness Student Organization and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People come together for this week to host events.
“It’s a chance for a bunch of fields and organizations to put on events to educate and entertain the community,” Finney said of the week.