Student Association for Black Unity (SABU)
In the fall of 1970, fifteen black men matriculated at Washington and Lee. Prior to their arrival, a sparse amount of black men attended W&L, marking 1970 as the first large class of black men to step on the campus. The organization was initially formed as a support system that would provide the members with a safe and inclusive environment on campus, but expanded as they found themselves tied to the community of Lexington.
The SABU members certainly made the best out of their short time here, establishing traditions that are still celebrated in W&L’s academic year. From providing mentorship to the youth of Lexington, to inviting students, faculty, administration, staff and Lexington community members to come out donned in their best apparel for the annual Black Ball formal, to celebrating Black History month by bringing highly respected African Americans to campus, the members worked tirelessly to make their presence at W&L known, seen and heard. While balancing heavy coursework and battling racial injustices in extremes, these individuals birthed a legacy inherited by several generations following them.