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Suffolk Students Inspired by Manhattan Black History Trip

Jay Kass
Jah’mere Jackson listens as he learns at the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (Compass News/Jay Kass)

A Hampton Jitney filled with about 40 Suffolk students visited New York City to learn about African American history and culture and meet with Black leaders who shared their journeys to success.

“I moved here three years ago from Pakistan, so I don’t know much about African American history,” said Arshiyan Khan, 24, a business administration and accounting major. “I was like, “This would be a good chance to get inside and learn about what even happened.” 

The officers of multicultural affairs from the three Suffolk campuses organized the tri-campus event, called “A Black History Experience,” and partnered with the entrepreneur program to help make the trip available to many students.

Students toured the African Burial Ground National Monument, where they toured a collection of artifacts looking into New York’s African American cultural heritage. 

Then, they made their way to CitiGroup Global Headquarters. “Networking at the Citibank building with the higher-ups and the Black-owned deviation, we met people we wouldn’t usually get to meet, so that was pretty cool,” said Chapele Wray, 24, an architectural engineering major. 

Here, students learn ways to achieve what they want in their futures without settling for less. “Citibank was a wonderful experience where they got to hear about the entrepreneurial ship and be empowered by, in fact, networking with other people and taking advantage of LinkedIn,” said one of the trip organizers James Banks. 

Students learned much about how history can tie together. For students such as Khan, who had only been in the country for three years, this trip truly helped him learn history outside his own.  “Coming from a country of my own history and comparing it here with a primary focus of black history month and African-American history, what I learned is how much African-Americans contributed to the economic side of this country,” he said. 

Although this was a trip to teach students about Black history, it did much more, helping steer students on a better path to their futures, “Tips on how to progress in myself, like how to make my brand, market myself and meet new people, and find different ways to get into the career I wanted. It doesn’t matter if I’m undecided right now; I still have ideas where I can go and discover what I really wanna do for myself,” Anaelle Arne, 19, a liberal arts major, said. 

The Jackie Robinson Museum taught students about Major League Baseball and the first Black American man to play for the MLB. “How this person who was being called slurs and different names and how everyone thought he was a different person just because he was a different color and beat all those people, said Pablo Dominguez, 19, a criminal justice.

“There’s always something I didn’t know or can learn,” Banks said. “I need to keep my mind open to keep learning.”

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About the Contributor
Jay Kass
Jay Kass, Multimedia Editor
Jay Kass is the multimedia editor of the Compass News, majoring in journalism. After Suffolk, she wants to go to Stony Brook University to obtain a bachelor's in journalism, or get a cosmetology degree at Navda Tech in the city to learn how to create crazy hair looks. Kass hopes to become a travel journalist to spread awareness of different cultures.

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