Welcome Black Week

Danielle Ferguson

Students in the Black Student Alliance celebrated a day of “Welcome Black Week” with song, poetry and Insomnia Cookies.

More than 40 students gathered for a talent showcase Sept. 11 as part of Welcome Black Week.

Denisha Mixon, junior in journalism and mass communications, started off the show performing the poem “Phenomenal Woman,” followed by Victoria Beadle, senior in history, who volunteered on the spot to sing “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys.

“We want this to be relaxed and more approachable to students,” said emcee Peter Deveaux-Issacs. “It’s a celebration of us, a celebration of all talent.”

Welcome Black Week featured an event every night this week, including a “He Got Game” basketball tournament, the talent showcase, a ’90s-themed house party and a “Soul Food” barbecue.

Dominique Williams, former vice president of the Black Student Alliance, said Welcome Black Week is a way for students to meet new people before course loads start to get heavy.

The Black Student Alliance is a safe haven for students and can provide them with a close-knit community, Williams, senior in hospitality management, said.

“It’s about creating a culture or a family within the Iowa State community,” Williams said. “A place where people can be themselves. We’re focused around culture and community awareness and volunteering.”

Deveaux-Issacs, sophomore in political science, said even though events include the title “Welcome Black Week,” that anybody is welcome to attend.

“If you support culture, if you support this culture, which I feel is a very lively, very beautiful culture, then you can come to any BSA event,” Deveaux-Issacs said.

Williams has been involved with the Black Student Alliance since his freshman year and he said he is glad he stuck with it.

“[Black Student Alliance] has been very positive for me,” Williams said. “It has created a family for me.”

Welcome Black Week’s Sept. 12 event is a ’90s-themed “House Party” from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. Admission is $3 if dressed in 90s apparel and $5 for general admission. 

Sept. 13 ends the week with a “Soul Food” barbecue from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Black Cultural Center at 517 Welch Ave.