By Sade Smith, News Editor
This year’s Black History Month Show (BHMS), “Crisis in Black Education” drew a large crowd, with students, faculty and off campus guests participating in the annual event on Saturday, February 25.
In alignment with this year’s national theme, entry to the show required school supplies which would be donated to local area schools.
Ted Manuel, member of the Black History Month Show committee, finance senior major, and brother of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity Inc., had a hand in making sure the show ran smoothly, as well as tabling and collecting donations.
“I think this is a great way to keep retention up and it’s a great way to uplift the community. It’s not only beneficial for Black people but everyone who invests in it. You learn something from it.”
The show opened with the singing of the Black National Anthem by the on campus gospel choir, D’Sword, who requested that the audience stand in honor of Black people everywhere.
On and off campus performers showed their talent in support of the BHMS, such as a spoken word artist, introduced as “Unknown.” Speaking to the audience from backstage with a mic, he asked, “What does freedom mean to you?” He addressed the overall subject of the night by stating that Black people need to start researching, educating and learning from one another because this American education system provides the bare minimum.
This issue was also tackled in a step performance by the Rho Rhoses of Sigma Phi Rho Inc., where they drew out data from recent years showing that Black women are the most educated group in America. The routine was purposeful in inspiring Black women specifically that the ability to graduate and get a fruitful education in and outside the classroom is possible for all.
Andrea Moore, president of BSU, and senior psychology major commented, “People don’t see it as clearly, but we do have a crisis in our Black education here; and the first step is to bring the issue to light to a lot of people.”
In between acts, clips of the well-known film Higher Learning starring Laurence Fishburne, Omar Epps and Ice Cube, played to enlighten the audience on the significance of Black education.
After the last movie clip played, BHMS hosts explained that the point in this movie touches their theme in terms of using tools and resources around you to your fullest.
While they made the point that a college education alone does not define your success, it was made clear that the experience does something to better a person as a whole.
The show ended with the much anticipated dance routine from “Rhythms of Africa.”
Using mainly hip hop and rap music from the early 2000’s, they incorporated the message of Black education with elaborate movements and lighting that excited the audience to their feet.
A favorite performance for Ashley Lima, senior graphic design major, she said, “The theme inspired me to be a conscious person about my role as a person of color in the school environment and it really opened my eyes, made me more woke!”