Iona kicks off Black History Month celebrations


Photo credit @iona.bsu

BSU’s annual culture show highlights the importance of representing Black culture at Iona.

Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza, News Editor

Iona University is celebrating Black History Month this February with a series of events. Black History Month began in 1915, but it was not officially recognized until 1976 by President Gerald Ford. Every year, the President designates a theme for the month. For 2023, the Black History Month theme is “Black Resistance,” highlighting how the community has persisted and thrived throughout years of ongoing oppression.  

The month began with the Men’s Basketball Black History Month Celebration on Feb. 3. During the game against Mount Saint Mary’s University, the Black Student Union (BSU,) the BSU Dance Experience, the Student Leader Alliance for Multiculturalism (SLAM) and the West Indian Student Establishment (WISE) were honored. Tote bags designed by members of BSU were given out to the first several hundred students who attended the game.  

After the game, BSU and the Gaels Activity Board (GAB) hosted the First Friday Party in the EndZone. The party began at 10:00 p.m. and ended around midnight. Gaels kicked off the month with fun, food and mocktails, with DJ Inzane providing the music. 

The BSU Culture Show was held on Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. in the Murphy Auditorium. Admission was only $2 for Iona students, $5 for guests and free for Iona alumni. DJ Inzane once again provided the music. Copacetic Candles were also sold at the show. Several performers took the stage dancing, singing and stepping, all displaying the beauty of Black culture. The Big Apple City Undergraduate Chapter of Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship Inc was invited to perform, which was a crowd favorite. Dino Antonie and Leah Figueroa performed two songs on vocals and guitar respectively, while the BSU Dance Experience wowed the crowd as always.   

More events will take place throughout the month. SLAM will host movie nights on Thursday nights on Feb. 9, 16, and 23. Likewise, on Feb. 16 the documentary “James Hemings: Ghost in America’s Kitchen” will be screened at 5 p.m. at the EndZone. Other events will take place outside of the campus. An online seminar will be held on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. about the Tuskegee Airmen, who were primarily African American military pilots who fought in WWII, and how they broke down racial barriers at home and abroad. The New Rochelle Public Library will be holding African Dance Workshops through Feb. 25 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. A final performance will take place on the last day at 3:30 p.m.