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Student organizations reflect on Black History Month

Student organizations have commemorated Black History Month through cultural events that promote education and foster inclusion across campus.

Student organization Having Appreciation in Realness, or HAIR, honored Black History Month by hosting events that involve cultural hair styles. 

Smith said the mission of HAIR is important for students to acknowledge. 

“The aim is to serve as a safe place for those in the natural hair community to discuss our experiences and learn how to care for or embrace our features,” Smith said. 

HAIR hosted an event called “Braiding 101” where students were taught how to do various braided styles and reflect on the historical significance of such styles. 

Dannell Smith, a sophomore psychology major and vice president of HAIR, said the event connected students to their culture through their hair. 

“We acknowledge that hairstyles have had cultural impacts over the course of centuries and that the relationship between Black people and their hair can be very personal,” Smith said. 

HAIR also hosted a jeopardy night on Feb. 1 in honor of Black History Month. Smith said the event was meaningful to her and her culture. 

Another on-campus organization honoring Black History Month is the West Indian Student Organization (WISO).

Mikayla Gayle, a senior accounting and marketing major and head treasurer of WISO, said that February is a “very important month.”

“The month signifies a time in which the Black community is highlighted for all their contributions and efforts,” Gayle said. “It represents our persistence to make strides to overcome all the obstacles and hardships we constantly face.” 

Gayle also said WISO is a big part of her student life at Seton Hall. 

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“It provides a haven for me and other Black students on campus,” Gayle said. “It also provides a space in which students can feel safe and learn to appreciate the culture and honor the foundation set by the Black community.” 

The Black Diplomacy Students organization is also honoring Black culture and history this February. 

Nicholas Kimble, a sophomore diplomacy major and undergraduate chair for the organization, said Black History symbolizes many things for him. 

“Black History Month, for me, means remembrance and rejuvenation,” Kimble said. “I believe that understanding Black history from across the globe gives us a greater insight into accentuating the history, atoning our own biases and continuing to create solutions to address problems that affect not only Black communities but all communities.”

The Martin Luther King Scholarship Association has also demonstrated dedication to providing Black History Month programming on campus. 

Ryan McMullin, a junior philosophy and diplomacy double major and president of MLKSA, said he and fellow members of the association honor Black History Month. 

“Black History Month is an opportunity for MLKSA, and the Black community at Seton Hall in general, to elevate important voices and topics and to form a coalition around positive change,” McMullin said. 

McMullin added that MLKSA participates in opportunities for academic and personal enrichment.

“MLKSA is not only an institution; it is a family,” McMullin said. “Our slogan is, ‘We all we got,’ referring to the lifelong bonds and sense of community we foster.”

Blake Harrsch can be reached at


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