Micah Morrow, Contributing Writer
On Saturday, Oct. 22, the Black Students Association (BSA) held the annual BSA Ball which recognizes and celebrates Wooster’s Black students. This recognition and celebration was truly emphasized through the theme of this year’s event: Black Joy.
Knowlton Commons, the space in which the event was held, was beautifully decorated in the theme’s colors. Earth tones appeared throughout the cutlery, tablecloths and balloons. Students came dressed in shades of various browns, greens and blues. Everyone in attendance took the semi-formal and formal directions to heart, and looked like royalty. The event was catered by Famous Dave’s, who served ribs, salad, mac and cheese, fish and more, to the delight of the attendees.
Scattered around the tables of Knowlton were quotes from students describing what “Black Joy” means to them. The responses ranged from those of optimism and elation to those of trials and tribulations. The quotes described the multi-faceted experiences that come along with being Black in America.
Despite the understanding and acknowledgement of the difficult aspects, the entire event shined light on the joys and power of the Black experience. Speakers included Interim President Wayne Webster, a Wooster alum and Director of Multicultural Affairs, Lillian Evans. Each highlighted the contributions of Black students and professors at the College throughout the years, while also focusing on the joy felt and spread through their actions and presence.
Amari Royal ’23 liked the theme a lot and reflected on times of Black joy throughout their life. They said that, “We don’t talk about Black joy enough on this campus or the fact that most of the time we feel it in spite of the school.”
Jada Frost ’23 also spoke about the Ball’s theme, saying “I really enjoyed the BSA Ball theme for my senior year! It reminded me of the Black joy that I’ve experienced on the College of Wooster campus even in the worst of times or extenuating circumstances. It showed the resilience and power of Black joy!”
The special place this event holds in the hearts of many students across campus was evident throughout the night. The College, which is a predominantly white institution, does not have many spaces dedicated explicitly to celebrating Black students. This event, and many others held by BSA and the other multicultural organizations on campus, create spaces designed to celebrate and uplift them. Black joy deserves to be honored and fostered, and the BSA Ball did just that. Where the institution may fail, students persevere and rise up.