Celebrating Black History through fashion

The Organization for Black Unity presents the 23rd annual fashion show

Black History Month is a time to commemorate black history and culture. Throughout the month, Central Michigan University promotes the rich tapestry of its diverse campus community with programming organized by and for students, faculty and staff.

A staple event of the month, now in its 23rd year, is the Organization for Black Unity Fashion Show. John Gardner, a third-year participant, believes the impact of this event is positive for minorities on campus and for Central as a whole.

“OBU happened because there’s not enough representation for Black people on campus,” Gardner said. “They decided on a fashion show so that people can see that representation and see that people of color can become designers or models.”

OBU Fashion Show 2019
Students participate in the 2019 OBU Fashion Show.


The show aims to spotlight a diverse group of individuals from a variety of different backgrounds. “Our models come in all different shapes, sizes and shades,” he said. “We aren’t all Black, all white or all Hispanic.”

In addition to the annual fashion show, OBU puts on a series of events to celebrate Black History Month each year. Gardner said while Black trauma is often discussed during Black History Month, the fashion show highlights a positive aspect of the Black community.

“I feel like this is a different approach incorporating some entertainment and fun, but really just celebrating our culture.”

While they are keeping the theme a secret this year, attendees can expect to see a diverse group of models and designers showing off multiple styles of clothing. OBU has worked with a variety of designers, including several from CMU, to put on an impressive event, Gardner said.

The OBU Fashion Show begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, in Plachta Auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Photos from the 2022 OBU Fashion Show are available for viewing on Facebook and Instagram.

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