Black Student Unions Rites of Passage Ceremony

May 11, 2014
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Expo New Mexico (the state fairgrounds) in the African American Performing Arts Center
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The Black Student Unions 2014 Rites of Passage Ceremony -- an annual event for members of the BSU who meet specific academic, service learning, historical and behavior criteria -- will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 11, at Expo New Mexico (the state fairgrounds) in the African American Performing Arts Center.

The seventh annual ceremony will involve 69 graduating seniors from Albuquerque Public Schools who will receive Kente cloths as part of the tradition. The word Kente means “that which will not tear under any condition.”  Each pattern is different and special and the colors have meaning. Gold means wealth and good luck, and red stands for beauty and life. The cloth is a form of non-verbal communication that expresses pride and identity. Kentes, which have never been mass-produced, include all the elements of culture and are a celebration of life.

The symbol on the APS Kente Cloths means "Lifelong Education and Continued Quest for Knowledge" and in Swahilli "Nea Onnim No Sua A, Ohu". The seniors often wear the Kente cloths during graduation activities.

The keynote speaker for Sunday's ceremony is Robin White, superintendent for the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. Little Rock Central High School is recognized for the role it played in the desegregation of public schools in the United States. The persistence shown by the nine African American students (known as the Little Rock Nine) in attending the formerly all-white Central High School is one of the most prominent national examples of the implementation of the May 17, 1954, Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.