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Tiffany Gooden, director of community and inclusion, opens the event

Clubs Host BlackOut: A Celebration of Afro Heritage

The Africa Business & Society Club and Black Business Alliance student clubs joined together to celebrate black history month on Wednesday, February 8. Students, faculty, and staff members shared musical, spoken word, and dance performances honoring Afro-heritage culture.

The event began with an introduction to the African diaspora, its context, and its development by Tiffany Gooden, director of community and inclusion. A variety of performances followed: Thatcher Ross YC ’17 sang “King,” a hip hop-influenced song about the state of Black America in the 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor Heidi Brooks delivered a powerful reading of selected poems. As the crowd clapped to the beat, Feruz Erizku ’17 performed Eskista, a traditional Ethiopian dance. Tafadzwa Mahlanganise ’18 and Pauline Ndambuki ’18, led a crew of SOM students in an African dance routine. Vance Lewis ’18 held nothing back while playing the cajón, an instrument developed by slaves in coastal Peru and featuring heavily in Afro-Peruvian music. Juliana Simms YC ’18 shared original and hard-hitting spoken word poetry about her experiences as a Black woman in America. Charley’s Place staffer James Pagan, aka Epic, performed his original, spoken-word rap, “American Massacre.” The Evolution of Social Dance Collective closed the night out by pulling in the crowd to celebrate African-American social dance through the ages.