Dancers for Duniya Dance and Drum Company at the Redwood Bowl Plaza on Feb. 24

Basketball hosts Black Out Night

Umoja Center celebrates Black faculty and staff

by Angel Barker

Students lined the Redwood Bowl Plaza for food, music, games and a performance on Feb. 24 for the Black Out Basketball pre-game rally. Organized by the Umoja Center for Pan African Student Excellence, it was a celebration of Cal Poly Humboldt’s Black faculty and staff.

Photo by Angel Barker | From left: students Demi Ogunwo, Joy Mehn, Douglas Smith, and Gloria Thompson at the Black Out Rally on Feb. 24 that took place at the Redwood Bowl Plaza.

The celebration was not just for the faculty and staff, but for the black student community. Douglas Smith, coordinator of the Umoja Center and masters student in English, was a critical part in making the event successful.

“It means a chance to have community,” Smith said. “A chance for Cal Poly Humboldt to support our Black student community like we would in society.”

The Umoja Center’s mission is to support the pan-African student community. Lots of students were in attendance for the pre-game tailgate, to support and celebrate community and the campus.

“I came out to support the game and the celebration that’s going on right now,” said Joy Mehn, a political science major.

The center is very important to Mehn.

“To me the center means family,” Mehn said. “So many good friends are in the Umoja Center. It is a place to just relax and come together.”

Gloria Thompson, a child development major, was attending the rally to celebrate Black excellence. Thompson found her people at the Umoja Center.

“I was a student at home dealing with a toxic family,” Thompson said. “I found my community and family there [the center].”

Photo by Angel Barker | Drummer Bongo Sidibe and dancer Joti Singh perform at Blackout Rally on Feb 24.

The rally featured Southern food and a drum and dance performance by the Duniya Dance and Drum Company. The San Francisco-based company was formed in 2007 to create dance and music.

Before the men’s basketball game, a video was played in honor of Black History Month and featured student athletes and what the month means to them and who they look up to.

All throughout the men’s game, free t-shirts were given to every person featuring the hashtag #LoveIsTheNewBlack and Black Out Game 2022. During half time of the men’s game, many of Cal Poly Humboldt’s Black faculty and staff were honored with flowers and a gift bag. The drummers from Duniya Dance and Drum Company were also in attendance and helped hype up the crowd with their music.

Thursday Feb. 24 was just one of the days to celebrate the Black community on the Cal Poly Humboldt campus.

“It is to celebrate school spirit, hang out and enjoy each other,” Smith said. “To enjoy good food and Black culture.”

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply