A Journey From Past to Present: Sigma Lambda Gamma and the Black Student Union Explore Black Culture

Beginning slide of the “Exploring the Culture” Presentation | Ana Mancebo, PantherNOW

Ana Mancebo | Contributing Writer

In honor of Black History Month, FIU sorority Sigma Lambda Gamma and the Black Student Union explored the culture with students. 

On Feb. 16 in the Graham Center, the SLG and BSU teamed up  to create a presentation about African American history in the United States. Discussion revolved around culture, Florida education, and community.

In addition to learning about how past pioneers shaped the United States as we know it, attention was also brought to current events. Members of the audience discussed Governor Ron DeSantis’ censorship of African American studies.

“It’s another tactic to silence us,” said an audience member. “He didn’t have a reason.”

Attendees learned about significant Black historical figures such as Annie Lee Cooper, who fought for civil rights in the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement, and Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress. 

Presenters also asked questions related to students’ experiences of being Black and encouraged personal discussion. 

“Our goal is for Black students here at FIU to have a safe space to learn and talk about black history and how it has impacted our lives today,” said Desiree Caroll, the sorority’s Vice President of Program Development and Marketing. 

Questions varied from “what traditions do you have within your household?” to inquiries about identity and “what it means to be Black.”

“Embracing who you are,” was an answer from one attendee. 

 All audience members took part in the conversation, listening and exchanging anecdotes about their own experiences.

 To reflect on the discussions and the presentation, attendees were asked the question, “Why do you think we celebrate Black History Month?”

Most attendees agreed that Black History Month is necessary due to the lack of awareness or education revolving around African American history. 

“As minorities, we’re not talked about a lot,” someone responded. “We get a month. Not even – twenty eight days.”

Bringing the presentation to a close was a conversation about division within the Black community and the steps that can be taken towards growth and unity.

“We’re making a difference by talking about these things,” presenter Zipporah Thomas said. 

The event finished off with a Kahoot game which asked questions related to the PowerPoint, with the top three winners earning gift cards.

Overall, SLG and BSU took the student body on a journey through Black history and gave Black students the opportunity to shine light on important topics today.

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