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BLACKtie Weekend: Culture and Alumni

Black Hoco | Arden Reimer | The Wright State Guardian

The Black Student Union continues to celebrate black student culture and alumni on Wright State University’s campus in the sixth annual homecoming events.

Where it started

The homecoming weekend was born from a need to connect and carve out a place for African-American students in the WSU community.

“It’s making sure we have those connections between the alumni and the students,” BSU President Gary Neal said. “We want to give [alumni] the opportunity to come back, see what’s going on and connect with us and then celebrate Black excellence and have a good time.”

Curtis Mann, co-creator of BLACKtie and former BSU president, recognized the need for this event in 2015 during Jamboree week. While BLACKtie is open to students regardless of identity, Mann noted that the main goal is celebrating Black culture.

“When I was here, when I was in school, we really didn’t have a homecoming for our culture. We always went to Central homecoming, which was something that was geared more toward what we were accustomed to,” Mann said.  “I think what really made me want to do the actual homecoming idea was being on that board and that planning committee. There wasn’t really anything geared towards African-American students, it was all events that normally we wouldn’t really go to.”

Events during BLACKtie also allow older students to pass on wisdom to younger students, according to Mann.

What to expect

BLACKtie Weekend starts on Thursday, Sept. 29 with a Homecoming Skating Party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Orbit Skating Rink in Huber Heights.

Sept. 30 brings ‘Campus Tours For the Culture’ at 4 p.m. and the ‘All Black Everything’ party from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Most events take place on Saturday, Oct. 1, including ‘Kickback at the Cookout Tailgate Party,’ ‘Campus Tour for the Culture,’ ‘Dr.Harvey E. Flack Battle of the Greeks Stroll Off’ and ‘BLACKtie Signature Gala.’

According to Mann, the ‘Dr.Harvey E. Flack Battle of the Greeks Stroll Off’ was renamed this year to honor Dr. Harvey E. Flack, the first African-American President of WSU. Organizers will announce a scholarship recipient during this event, with prize money awarded to the top three National Pan-Hellenic Council winners of the event, according to Mann. 

Sunday concludes the Homecoming Weekend with ‘Day Party and Brunch’ from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

“I am most intrigued to meet some alumni and enjoy the Black community coming together as a whole,” junior Jasmine Reeves said.

Students can purchase tickets for BLACKtie through the universe ticket portal