Black history comes alive in “Who I Am: Celebrating Me,” a play using various forms of performing arts to bring unsung African American heroes to light. Sponsored by the Black Student Union, BSU, it features a community of artists whose goal is to increase literacy throughout the Portland Metropolitan area and adjacent areas, while accommodating the academic, social and personal needs of community members.

“It’s a way for African Americans and the Portland community to showcase the history through song, dance, acting, different skits,” said Yashica Island, the advisor to the Black Student Union. “It’s a good way to show black history from slavery until now.”

Island, director of Student Academic Inclusion and Success, also pointed out that there has not been an abundance of African American students on campus since the 70’s. Recently,

the population of African American students, both current and prospective, is increasing.

“There’s been a gap of this kind of culture on this campus,” said Island. “So that’s why it’s so important now to bring back events that are relevant to the students on campus.”

“Who I Am: Celebrating Me” will be playing on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center. Tickets are required and should be picked up as soon as possible. They can be found on the “Who I Am” event page on Pacific University’s website.

This is just one of the many events celebrating black history and culture throughout the month of February. Other events include a speech by political activist Angela Davis speaking on Feb. 6, a viewing of the movie Fruitvale Station, followed by a soul food dinner on Feb. 13, and BSU’s first “hoodie happening” on Feb. 26, commemorating the death of Trayvon Martin. Black History Month will conclude on Friday, Feb. 28, with African American poet T. Miller speaking and performing on campus.

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