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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Black Student Union’s Onyx event celebrates Black excellence

CW / Jennifer Stroud
Students gather at a performance at the yearly Onyx event on Aug. 25.

The Black Student Union hosted its annual Onyx on the Student Center Lawn on Friday with the theme “Back to Yo Roots.” 

“The way that I describe Onyx to people is that it’s just a major back-to-school bash,” Kaddyja Jallow, the vice president of the Theta Sigma chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, said. “It just shows what UA is about. It’s like a mini Get on Board Day before Get on Board Day and it exposes the freshmen and other underclassmen to what our campus has to offer.” 

Onyx 2023 began with a tabling event that showcased organizations ranging from the Divine Nine to the Capstone Association of Black Journalists to the African Students Association. 

After the tabling were a performance by the Afro American Gospel Choir, a fashion show and a series of dance performances by Greek organizations from the National Pan-Hellenic Council.  

Kenneth Kelly, the president of the Capstone Association of Black Journalists, said that events like the BSU’s Onyx are essential because they give students an opportunity to celebrate and connect.  

“It wasn’t too long ago that we wouldn’t be able to have events like this,” Kelly said. “It really just means the world to me just to be able to come together and celebrate excellence and achievement that Black students have done here on campus. It’s something we should continue to work toward and help build a better future here at UA.”  

The University recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of its desegregation, which Kelly described as a milestone worth celebrating. 

 “We’ve come such a long way from where we started in our origin here in this country, and it’s something that we should really be celebrating, not only just because of the 60th [anniversary], but every single year, every day of our lives,” Kelly said.  

Members of the SGA Executive Cabinet were present at the event, including President Collier Dobbs. 

Meghan Haran, Dobbs’ chief of staff, said that it was important for student government to be present at events like Onyx. 

“It’s important to us that every student on this campus, no matter their cultural identity, religion, race, anything, feels like they have a friend in the student government, and they have someone vouching for their concerns, and that’s the truth,” Haran said.  

Alex Spencer, a senior majoring in human development and family studies, compared Onyx to a family reunion.  

“It pretty much just feels like a big family reunion with pretty much all the Black students on UA campus,” Spencer said. “This a great time for us to come together.” 

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