Year three of Unapologetically Black started with a celebration this year. The Black Affairs Association alongside other co-sponsors of the Unapologetically Black events for the month came together to kick-off Black History Month right!

The Kick-Off was held last Thursday in the D.P. Culp Center Ballroom. A crowd full of students attended the event along with a few faculty and staff members.

(Photograph by Garrett Tumlin / East Tennessean)

The celebration began with a presentation called “Through the Eyes of Them.” In this presentation, members of different organizations on campus got on stage and stated facts about important people in African American History. As they recited facts about the people they were representing on stage, the ETSU Gospel Choir sang in the background.

After “Through the Eyes of Them,” Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Dean of Students Jeff Howard gave a brief update about the changes on campus including the Culp renovation and the decision to bring comedian DC Young Fly back to ETSU on April 14.

“I feel as if he [Howard] was genuine about what he was saying, and I do feel like they are making steps to help improve the African American climate,” said ETSU’s Black Affairs President Jeremiah Pearson. “He has been making efforts for the school to make African Americans feel more comfortable and especially his efforts on trying to get the fountain back to its original state.”

When Howard left the stage, Pearson and ETSU’s President of the Rho Upsilon Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Brittany Patmon went on stage to give everyone an update on the events during February and to give a “Black State of the Union Address.” In this address, they led a discussion on the climate on campus and how the students can better the graduation rate for African American students.

To close out the Kick-Off, the students came together for a “Black cookout.” Food was provided, and everyone ate while old school songs played in the ballroom.

”It was very fun and also funny to see some of the African American community enjoying themselves and celebrating the month,” said Pearson. “I feel that was the most unity I’ve seen in a long time on campus.”

The next event of Black History Month will be free haircuts today from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in front of the Multicultural Center.