The OU community will experience African culture through African Night on April 20.
The OU African Students Association will host the event and has the theme "Roots Before Branches," which is intended to help participants remember where they come from and how they got to where they are today, said David Emesiani, treasurer for the association.
"Sometimes (people) really get lost in the American culture, so people can really forget where they came from and who they truly are," Emesiani said.
Emesiani said the theme for the evening was impacted by some of the racist events that have happened throughout this semester and last semester.
"We've been deeply affected by these events," Emesiani said. "We thought about mental health and keeping things in check because it can be very overwhelming, I would say. ... White institutions, it's hard to find your niche, I would say, for a lot of us, so we've tried to find each other, and we want to bring solidarity, hopefully, through African Night as well."
During the event, participants will get a taste of some traditional African food from counties like Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana and more. There will also be dance performances, including dances from Nigeria, and a fashion show.
"Everyone will be able to get a good look at everything Africa has to offer in terms of their talent and everything," Emesiani said.
All are welcome to attend the night, regardless of their background. Emesiani said people can remain respectful by keeping things in perspective, and by taking in performances and reflecting on them and previous racist events on campus.
The event is free for everyone. It will be at 7 p.m. April 20 at the Thurman J. White Forum Building.