Co-Writers: Nakyah Lucas ‘20 and Art Martin ‘72
This anniversary represents where we came from and where we plan to go! Holy Cross was an institution that had the mission of only educating young white men. Before the Black Student Union came into existence, there was a group of young black men who were recruited by Father Brooks, and were featured in Fraternity. He saw that it was possible to have other students other than white males on this campus, and made it his duty to create a more diverse environment. Fraternity highlighted the experiences of five men, two of which who were the co-founders of the Black Student Union, Art Martin ‘70 and Ted Wells ’72 . Through Father Brooks recruitment, the young black men felt there was a need for a safe haven for black students at Holy Cross, thus creating the Black Student Union.
The Black Student Union, created in 1968, allowed for a change agent within the campus culture, and provided more of a community oriented campus, which it wasn’t at the time. It also, opened doors for different types of people to come to Holy Cross. As well as the creation of various Multicultural Student Organizations, and provided safe havens for more minority students. While many students of color, were not so successful in adjusting to the environment, the BSU helped them survive. Members of the Black Student Union have become some of the most successful leaders within the country. There are doctors, lawyers, business men and women, and even a Supreme Court Justice. This success is all because of the support that black students gave one another through the hardships and difficulties of attending college, as well as being black.
Fifty years later, some of the same experiences that black students had then, are the same experiences that black students have now. But, what makes this generation’s experiences so unique, is that they have the support of alumni at the drop of a dime. Although it is a shame that some of the same negative experiences are in existence, it helps to have someone who has dealt with similar issues, help you navigate your difficulties.
This anniversary is the joining of the old and the new, while celebrating the next fifty years.
We hope the next fifty years keeps the same momentum, of increasing the black student population here at Holy Cross, while also ensuring they have some place to call home. We hope the next fifty years allows blacks students to create friendships and relationships for a lifetime. We hope the next fifty years creates the next generation of strong black leadership!