BYU students celebrate Black History Month

Johnisha Demease-Williams dances to “Pretty Hurts” at a Black History month event on Feb. 15. (Tessa Westlund)

Students celebrated Black History Month through dance and musical performances at the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom on Friday, Feb. 15.

BYU student Ronald Weaver welcomed the crowd and thanked BYU’s Multicultural Student Services for putting together the program.

“We have three main objectives tonight,” Weaver said. “The first is culture education, second is inclusion and finally the third is student leadership.”

Weaver told the crowd those who helped organize the event came from all over the world, which allowed them to showcase differing perspectives.

After Weaver’s opening remarks, BYU’s gospel choir sang its rendition of “Blessing of Abraham” and “Healing.”

KJ Magwood-Morton spoke about his struggles as a black athlete at BYU and said he feels many believe he got into BYU based on his athletic ability. He talked about the issues and looks he receives from people who only know little about him and how people shouldn’t stare at those they don’t know much about.

“Those words, those reactions and those stares are quite annoying,” Magwood-Morton said.

Magwood-Morton said he was a top student in his graduating high school class and that his athletic abilities didn’t come naturally to him.

He said people may know a handful of knowledge about him compared to the lake that is his life.

Students performed several musical numbers, one of which was an interpretive dance to Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts” by BYU’s Step team. In the performance, dancers gave information about the history of step dancing and its African roots.

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