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A Night of Soul: BSU remembers its roots

Founders of USU club address students about importance of black history

staff writer

Published: Monday, February 24, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 21:02

night of soul

Riley Densley photo

Student Paul Perry played his saxophone at USU's Black Student Union annual event Friday in the TSC Ballroom.

The Black Student Union held its yearly event “A Night of Soul” at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the TSC Ballroom. Along with having food and music, two of the founders of the BSU were invited to speak this year.

Roietta Goodwin, a founder of the BSU in 1969, said it started as a black emphasis week as part of the black student movement in the 1960s and 1970s. One of the BSU’s first accomplishments was getting an African-American professor on the USU campus.

Goodwin said she has had the pleasure of meeting Rosa Parks and witnessing Dr. Martin Luther King’s and Jesse Jackson’s speeches.

“We felt it was very important for other people to view our history, because all of our history is American history,” said George Tribble, another of the original organizers of the BSU.

Tribble said history books written about African-American people are usually about slavery rather than the things they overcome or the successes they’ve had, but he said it’s important to highlight these things.

“Black history is everywhere,” Tribble said. “We just need the opportunity to experience it.”

Through the efforts of the BSU, Tribble said he wanted to inspire youth by showing them and teaching about their forerunners, whose achievements and inventions were previously oppressed or once forgotten by society.

“The interesting thing about this society is that whether I wanted to or not, I had to know everything about white folks,” said Marvin Roberts, vice president for Student Engagement and Diversity. “In order for me to be successful, I had to know about that aspect of American society, yet the white American didn’t have to know anything about me.”

Roberts emphasized at the event the importance of learning about one another, for each other. 

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