Students and members of Black Student Union met in the Memorial Union yesterday to address questions and debunk stereotypes about African Americans as BSU hosted their annual “Ask A Black Person” event.
“It is basically a time for students to come and ask questions that they wouldn’t normally ask someone,” said Chastity Wadley, junior marketing major and publicity chair for BSU. “It’s supposed to be anonymous. It’s a time for people to come together and get to know more about the African Americans in a laid back way.”
Wadley said that BSU set out a table to collect questions from students that would then be read and discussed at the event. The point was to ensure that no one would be embarrassed or shy to ask a question.
“There (was) be a chance for people to add their own input, so it’s not just from an African American standpoint, but also from different viewpoints as well,” said Taylor Bullock, senior sociology major.
Bullock said that in past years they have gotten questions asking why black males are more athletic than other athletes, if there really an issue between lighter and darker skinned individuals, as well as questions about the differences with black women’s hair.
“I think BSU’s goal is to answer those wandering questions that people have and to get people to understand more about African Americans, so they don’t feel afraid to come up to somebody and have a conversation with them,” Wadley said. “Also to create diversity so that everyone knows about everybody.”
Bullock said BSU hoped to educate others about the African American community.
“We all may look the same, but everyone has different issues,” Bullock said. “I am from the suburbs, middle class, so what I go through in life as an African American may not be the same as our president of BSU, who is from Dallas, Texas.”
Erin Bleich, sophomore secondary education major, said that she thinks “Ask A Black Person” is a good idea.
“We build up stereotypes in our heads about people, and then we don’t really ask to see if it is true or not, so we really don’t have any idea,” Bleich said.
BSU hosts several events throughout the semester. Their next event is “Karaoke Live” from 7-10 p.m. on Feb. 28 in Albert Taylor Hall.