“In celebration and solidarity of the African Diaspora,” Diamond Bullock, president of the Black Student Union, led the flag-raising ceremony on Feb 5 during college hour. Held at the flagpole in front of Collins Arena, the ceremony was the kick-off of Black History month here on campus.

“I’ve been working here for 16 years and they’ve always had this ceremony. Not in this location,” said Kelli Sanders, adviser for the Black Student Union (BSU). This was her first time attending the ceremony in this location.

“It took a lot of meetings to get today together,” said Joshua Saintil of Neptune and applied science major. This is his second semester as a member of the BSU. “The weather ruined it.”

The flag used was the Pan-African flag also referred to as the UNIA flag, African-American flag or the Black Liberation flag. The tricolor flag shows equal bands of Red, Black and Green, and was formally adopted by the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) on Aug 13, 1920, during a month-long convention held in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Bullock went on to explain that the founders felt it was important to not just unite people of African descent here in the U.S. but globally. Reconnecting those displaced by the slave trade with their continent of origin.

Vice President of the BSU, Ovian Anderson, read the meaning of the colors of the flag. “Red is for the blood that unites all people of Black-African ancestry and shed for liberation. Black is for the black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag, and green is for the abundant natural wealth of Africa.”

Brookdale President, Dr. David Stout called Black History Month “a meeting across the globe.” In celebrating each other we find that “more binds us together” than separates us.

The crowd was invited to sing the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as the flag was raised.

The ceremony was followed by a soul food buffet-styled lunch and Think Fast Black History edition in the Navesink room.

The BSU and Student Life Board are also bringing Major League Baseball player and inspirational speaker, Chris Singleton, to present his message entitled “How do you Respond when the Unthinkable Happens.” At 11:45 a.m. Feb 13 in the Navesink rooms.  They are also planning a trip to Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, in March.

For more information and details about the BSU or events listed, please come to a meeting held every other Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in MAN 100. The next meeting will be held on Feb 11.