Mechanical engineering student Orion Levasheff enjoys celebrating his roots during Black History Month. “Black History Month is a time for me to show pride in my ancestors and learn more about them,” said Levasheff. “To know one’s history is to know oneself, and others cannot tell you what you are if you know yourself.”
The sophomore was chosen as the Association of Black Collegians’s student feature for Black History Month because of his overwhelming support for ABC.
“Although he was never in the EXEC board, he has gone to every meeting and has supported every event that ABC has hosted,” said Nora Bethune, the secretary of ABC. “He also is extremely proud of his roots and recognizes what it means to be a black man. He is extremely kind to other people, always promoting blackness and overall is just an awesome person.”
Some of the ways Levasheff celebrates Black History Month include wearing more black clothes, dashikis and African jewelry. But, most important to him, he takes time to learn more about black history.
“Historical figures that I honor this month include Queen Nzinga of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms in 17th century Angola, who defended her people in the wake of European colonization and the slave trade,” said Levasheff. “I also honor Mansa Abu Bakr II of the Mali Empire, who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas in the 14th century well before Christopher Colombus.”
Levasheff started in ABC his freshmen year. His favorite part of ABC is how it “fosters community among the black students on campus.” Among the events he’s gone to, Kwanzaa and Expression Night with Cypher 120 have been his favorite. He wanted to remind people to come to some of ABC’s Black History Month celebrations this year, including the Soul Food Soiree on Feb. 18, the Black Leadership Panel on Feb. 26 and Self Care Night on Feb. 26.
Other organizations that Levasheff is involved in include the National Society of Black Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.