Loyola’s Black Cultural Center (BCC) wrapped up its Black History Month celebrations with Ebony Ball Feb. 23.
Ebony Ball, an open and free formal event to all Loyola students, was held at Loyola’s Water Tower Campus in Regent’s Hall on floors 16 and 17 of Lewis Towers. The event celebrated the culmination of BCC’s six programs honoring Black History Month.
“Ebony Ball was BCC’s culminating event for Black History Month,” BCC President Robin Branton said. “It is a way to come together to celebrate the month.”
BCC’s event is used as a celebration for the African American community at Loyola to come together under one roof for a common cause according to Branton.
Black History Month grew out of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s “National Negro History Week,” which started in 1926. The celebration spread spreadin popularity until former President Gerald Ford declared February as Black History Month in 1976. Every US president has followed suit and issued an annual proclamation.
Black History Month has spread further than just the US. Countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands, which all have similar celebratory months, according to history.com.
Many guests said the event was an opportunity to come together and celebrate their heritage. Kristina Russell, a student on AfroDescent, Loyola’s African dance team, decided to participate because she wanted to get in touch with her roots.
Many guests said they will be back next year to celebrate again. Others, such as senior Raven Hawkins, don’t have that option.
“I wanted to enjoy my last year at Loyola,” Hawkins said. “I’ve been a part of the BCC community during my whole time at Loyola, so I wanted to come out to the last Ebony Ball.”
This year’s theme was “casino royale.” Red and gold streamers and decorations filled the space, in addition to a photo booth for guests to use.
Fashion at the event ranged from semi-formal to formal with most guests dressing in the colors of the ball’s theme. Ebony Ball served as an outlet for attendees to dress-up while honoring the month.
“It’s an outlet to get all dressed up and to make myself feel good,” Russell said. She attended with her friend Mica Layne who shared the same feelings.
Ebony Ball featured a DJ and popular music so guests could dance and enjoy themselves.
“Ebony Ball brings BCC and ASA (African Student Alliance) together,” Adjoa Darkwa, a Loyola freshman, said. “It represents a sense of community at Loyola.”