“Every athlete knows what it’s like to be tired. To come up from the water breathless, to arise from a tackle winded, or to finish the last stride across the finish line. However, that chance to breathe is not made available for black people across this country. We are tired of colorism. We are tired of racial profiling. We are tired of having to tiptoe around the law because of centuries-old connotations when it comes to our skin color.”
The Black Student-Athletes of Carleton is a group that strives to provide a safe space for fellow Black athletes. The group’s creation followed the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the impact of this tumultuous time stretched from the Black community to the few Black students at Carleton. During that summer of 2020, we came together to officially create the BSAC. We then began our partnership with Carleton’s athletic department to highlight the lack of Black athletes and started laying the groundwork for the organization and the plan for the Fall Term of the 2021-2022 school year.
This led to our march in Northfield in Fall 2020, titled “No Mo’ in NoFo,” which raised awareness against police brutality and institutional racism. This act of protest gained the support of over 1,000 students, faculty and administrators. BSAC is continuing to work with the Athletics department to help diversify the athletic staff and athletes. Carleton has recently hired volleyball’s first-ever Black head coach, but we know the achievements should not stop there. We will continue to push for an increase in Black coaches, and some of our other goals are to have teams frequent Black-owned businesses (particularly restaurants while traveling) and to consistently have connections with Carleton alumni. The BSAC board will continue to push for these goals to become a reality.
Carleton is a predominately white institution with the number of Black students slim and the number of Black student-athletes even slimmer. We know colleges that hold themselves to a high bar such as Carleton are capable of attracting Black students, and we are confident that through a collaboration with the college and BSAC, we can cultivate a brighter future for Black student-athletes that will endure after the current board/student’s time at Carleton College.
We’re looking forward to what the Black Students-Athletes of Carleton can and will accomplish.