In Preparation For Black History Month, UC Berkeley Students Paint The “Big C” The African Colors Of Red, Black, And Green
“One hand up, we have the power”
In solidarity with local and global efforts to affirm the value of black lives, several UC Berkeley students painted the Big C red, green and black early Monday morning to represent the Pan-African flag.
Six members of the Black Student Union, or BSU, set out to paint the Big C — a large emblem of the letter C nested in a hill near campus — before 5 a.m., according to Gabrielle Shuman, co-chair of political affairs for the BSU. The gesture was intended to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, a term used widely in recent nationwide protests against police killings of unarmed black men.
“It’s just a proud moment for us to be able to see, ‘Wow, we claimed that space,’ ” Shuman said. “Obviously, painting some colors isn’t going to drastically change anything — it’s not going to solve all our problems or necessarily accomplish all of our goals. For us, this is really a symbolic thing.”
The idea to express solidarity by painting the Big C arose from a conversation with friends and organizers, according to Shuman. She noted that the Big C is a major emblem of school spirit and that many student-athletes — whom Shuman does not believe are treated well by the campus — are black.
In addition, a BSU press release cited a campus climate survey, which it said showed that 50 percent of black students at UC Berkeley feel “prejudged by faculty based on their identity/background” and that 50 percent of black students feel they do not have the same opportunities for success as their classmates.