EBONY Presents: Black History Talent Showcase at KMB
Any person of color walking around Southwestern’s campus will notice rather quickly that, in terms of race, they are in the minority. While some merely accept this as it is and think nothing of it, there are others who want to bring attention to the fact people of color are underrepresented, and hope to spread awareness and appreciation of African-Americans on campus. One of the Coalitions for Diversity and Social Justice organizations, EBONY, plan to do just that.
Empowering Blacks and Others to Never Yield, or “EBONY”, works to promote unity among African Americans and the SU community. Just recently, they hosted a Black History Talent Showcase at the Korouva Milk Bar for the month of February. This event provided an opportunity for African-Americans to show friends and classmates their gifts and abilities in a rich and supportive environment, in which the volunteers at Korouva were gracious enough to provide. Specialty drinks were served and the sounds of laughter and music filled the atmosphere during this talent show.
Two of the performers, Freshman Cierra Burton and Sophomore John Marrero, sang a beautiful duet of “Best Part” by H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar. When asked why they chose to perform, both replied that they wanted to represent an unrepresented group of students.
Cierra went as far as stating, “If we don’t show up for ourselves, no one else will.”
And show up for themselves they did. The crowd was greeted with the sweet melody of John’s and Cierra’s voices, and cheered excessively for the duet. Their performance started off the evening in displaying the amazing talent the African-Americans at Southwestern have to offer.
The president of EBONY, Ivan Maina, also performed at the showcase. She presented the audience with not one—not two—but three exquisite musical pieces on the cello. Another performer, and the highlight of the night in my opinion, Jade Curington, read two original poems that spoke volumes; both about finding peace in a world full of racism as well as the painful hope of love. The idea for this showcase for Black History month actually came from Jade herself who felt like this would be a great opportunity to bring out the vocality in this minority.
Kellie Henderson, co-president for EBONY, was happily surprised, just as I was, at the turnout for this event. The audience was crowded, near on top of each other, with standing room only. They stood in the midst of the small, homey space Korouva offered while African-American talent stayed the light throughout the night. Whether performers were there just because they love to sing or because they had something to prove to the world, everyone enjoyed their time and benefitted from this wonderful experience.
Just as one of my friends mentioned, “I came here to see some great talent and learn about the history and culture,” I, too, was drawn to attend because it was important to support other African-Americans and learn about what we have to offer. As an African-American myself, I am proud to be a part of this talent, history, and culture.
EBONY hosts meetings every Wednesday at 6:15 pm in the Cross Cultural Center, 2nd floor of Prothro, and is always interested in new members! Because of what I witnessed at the showcase as well as the friendly environment I was immediately engulfed in, I even find myself wanting to join this diverse, yet inclusive, organization!