By Kalama Hines
On Wednesday, March 4 the Las Positas College Black Student Union (BSU) held a silent protest on campus, near the cafeteria.
Members of the BSU stood, in silence, holding signs displaying their “Achilles Heel.”
As February came to an end, the BSU decided to show the campus that just because “Black History Month” is over doesn’t mean African-Americans have left.
Signs inscribed with things like “not defined by misconceptions” and “no, I don’t sleep in a hut” sparked the interest of many passerbies.
One such passerby who felt the effects of the demonstration was school president Barry Russell.
“It’s a very powerful expression of students’ point of view,” Russell said. “The silent protest is very affective.”
The protest, which was quietly promoted by BSU to invite other students to take part, was meant to shock students passing from class to class, and went from noon to 1 p.m.
“(The protesters) were here for a long time,” Russell said. “(They showed) a lot of dedication and I couldn’t be more happy and proud of the students of Las Positas College for taking part in something like this.”
While the overall theme of the event was defined by a sign that read, “Our history doesn’t disappear with the end of the month,” participants were free to make other stances as well.
“Stereotypes, they all apply but don’t define.” “Being black doesn’t make me ghetto.” And “(You’re) a waste of a woman, for being gay.” Reading just a few of the signs gave passing students much to consider.
In all, more than 20 students took part in the protest. Dressed in black, and standing in complete silence, the protesters held sheets of black construction paper stenciled with their personal message.
“Everybody’s sign that they have,” said Ashli Hart protest spokesperson, “that’s their own thing that they went through – their Achilles Heel so to speak – something personal they’ve been faced with.”
Given the reaction of those who encountered the demonstration, Hart believes that the message was understood and feelings were accepted.
The protest served as an exclamation point on the BSU’s attempt to improve campus visibility. Throughout the month of February the club held several events in hopes of sharing, with their fellow students, a bit of their culture.
The events included a movie night, open-mic night and a fundraiser BBQ. Each event garnered more campus support that that of the previous.
While club president Sarah Omer said, at the club’s “Taste of Soul” event, that she felt the events were successful, Russell was especially impressed by the stance taken by the students taking part in the silent protest.
“I’m very proud of the students,” Russell said, “for standing up and making these very bold statements”