The Onyx Returns to Campus

The Black Student Union recently announced plans to reintroduce The Onyx to the Berea College campus community. The first publication is set to be released on February 28, 2014, and it will share information pertaining to the importance of the publication and the black community on campus, among other topics.

Intending to heighten awareness of the black community on campus through articles and stories relevant to the African Diaspora, The Onyx originated in the spring of 1974 as a publication of the Black Cultural Center. The term African Diaspora refers to the communities of people throughout the world that are descendants of Africans dispersed from the African continent.

This publication ran intermittently from 1974 through 2007. Each issue will feature an artist expression portion as well as faculty, student and staff spotlights.

According to Candace Reed, Black Student Union (BSU) public relations chair and one of the editors of The Onyx, BSU leaders are reviving the publication in order to give a voice to the black community on campus that often goes unnoticed. Reed shares that issues such as the disconnect among the African American student body need to be addressed.

The revival of this publication will be titled “The Onyx: The Revolution.” The term revolution is derived from radical change or new ways of thinking about issues related to the community.

The theme for BSU this academic year is “Power to the People Then and Now” with the goal of revolutionizing the experience of students of African descent on campus. Furthermore, the theme for the 43rd BSU pageant was “The Revolution Will Not be Televised,” taken from a poem by Gil Scott Heron. This new theme for the publication fits appropriately with the premise behind The Onyx because the BSU is trying to change the silence in the black community.

The Onyx will work to establish a collective set of voices through writers coming together to uplift as well as educate readers about what the recurring state of the black Berea community is. The biggest goal is for the general body to gain awareness of the significance of BSU and why it should never be forgotten. “The Onyx: The Revolution” will be made available to the campus community through email, Facebook and a blog.

*Plans are being made for a longer article to be released detailing the history of the Onyx and outlining the plans for the new one.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the original publication year of the Onyx.

Categories: News, People, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Black Cultural Center, Black Student Union, The Onyx

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.