New Black Cultural Center Dedicated
May 10, 2010
The consensus at the Black Cultural Center Dedication Saturday, October 4 was apparent on the faces of Black Student Union members, current and graduated: the Black Student Union (BSU) has come a long way since their inception.
Mike Williams '74 returned to campus for the dedication of the Black Cultural Center. Williams was active in the Black Student Union when he was a student.
One of the first members of the BSU, Michael Williams ('74), remembered the original goals of the organization. "Our principle goal was to recruit more blacks for the BSU," Williams said, "but we also needed to get these students to graduate."
He described how people were surprised to hear he went to Mount Union and that he actually graduated on time.
Williams attended a high school in Youngstown where there were only six white students. "When I enrolled here, it was the first time I was ever a minority," he said. "How do you negotiate being a minority?"
He said other black students have experienced the same thing, which is one reason why he thinks the BSU is so important. "I hope black students really take the time to get to know one another," Williams said. "Don't be exclusionary. Be inclusionary."
As the BSU progresses, Williams hopes the organization will continue to look back at its history. "As we advance, we forget what brought us over these rough waters," he said.
He considers the two-story home on Simpson Street a representation of the fulfillment of goals from the BSU's beginnings in 1968 until now, but warned that the organization may get too comfortable. "It's more important now than ever to maintain the vision," he said.