By Jourdan Bazley
Blog Content Contributor
Unity and growth of Black Texas State will become a source of strength for the African American population at Texas State University. Activists across campus have been seen voicing Black Lives Matter in forms of protests and events. From the Texas State Sit In during the first home game, to the Die In that took place at the Stallions this past week, men and women of all races are coming together to support Black Lives Matter.
What truly stands out about growing activism on campus for such a national cause, are the groups at Texas State that are working to bring lasting change to the minds of classmates, and those that want to stand for African American rights.
Black Texas State is gaining recognition because of recent actions for BLM, so what can San Marcos expect from activist groups like Black Men United, Black Women United and The Talented Tenth in this stand for human rights? KTSW spoke with TJ Artis, Andre Mentis and Russell Boyd II, three members of the soon-to- be activist group The Texas State Movement, on what the goals and hopes are for BLM at Texas State.
Q. What is the main goal for you all when it comes to Black Texas State and Black Lives Matter?
“Unity is our main goal. Why are we doing things in different ways when we all have a common goal? We are forgetting our personal differences more and more everyday, and instead, we are working together to make a difference”- TJ Artis
“A goal of mine is to help provide a platform for those who have a harder time delivering their message. As black people we have to make others feel welcome in a space. When black people are pushing each other out, we only create detriments to each other within our own community. We have to understand and believe in intersectionality.” -Russell Boyd II
Q. Why is it important that Black Lives Matter be recognized on the Texas State University campus?
“Black Lives Matter is very important. People never make it a bid deal until it is in their city. For us, it’s also about everyone as a community. You never know how educated you can be until you get around other people that have similar ideas as you, that can help you progress. We want this to bring the black community together. We think that the Sit In and Die In helped wake people up. They are seeing that we are actually doing what we say we are.” – Andre Mentis
“We want everyone to hear our voices. WE are not trying to say that our voices are above anyone else’s, but that we want to be heard equally.” – TJ Artis
Q. How do you think your campus and community are reacting right now to Black Texas State and their push for justice for BLM?
“Well the Sit In got some negative backlash on social media. Some didn’t support what we were doing. The president doesn’t reach out towards the African American issues in the USA or on this campus. Our diversity and inclusion values statement doesn’t equivocate to her actions. We did get good public recognition of the Sit In on Twitter though. Since this has been going on, there has been a lot more unity in the Black community. We are supporting each other.” – Russell Boyd II
“The ones that sat at the Die In and laughed at it and then walked off; we got their attention. We are going to reach them through actions. Someone is going stop and be like, “think about it, what are they really doing?”- TJ Artis
“It’s hard being a minority at a PWI because we are just a statistic. I feel that the president doesn’t speak on the beneficial things that our organizations are doing, but if we were to go out and fight, she would send out a public announcement.” – Andre Mentis
Q. How do you think that activist groups at Texas State will continue to influence others in the community to keep up the support and voice for BLM?
“Activist groups are setting the tone that we are approachable and we are a place to talk. With doing events and socials, we make sure that we are there for others, so we build that relationship for underclassmen to step up and share their voice. People that have the social and political capital are starting to gain a good popularity. Someone can just see me as being out on the scene, but if I stand for something, they can also see how I help benefit my community. People will not just think of us in one way, but in the way that we can come together, have fun, and still stand for greater things.” – TJ Artis
“We plan to progress by building a community that has a common goal. We’ve been doing a lot of relationship building to allow others to meet other people, so we can engage a younger audience. We are not separating ourselves. Our goal is to bring people from different organizations and social circles together. Once you set that precedent, you open the door for them to want to get involved because it gives them something to belong to and allows them to gain leadership. Effective leaders leave marks.” – Russell Boyd II
“I’m not doing this just for fun. It’s an organization about everybody. If we can reach Texas State, then we can reach San Marcos and then we can reach all of the surrounding cities. I’m happy that we are doing this because people are looking to be involved. We as the youth control our destiny.” – Andre Mentis
With leaders all throughout Black Texas State, support for BLM will look to continue progressing. Women and men of all ethnicities are working to strengthen Black Texas State and BLM, and build a community of strong leaders in the fight for the rights of African Americans all over the city, state and country.
Featured Image by Tafari Robertson