By Daniel Duque, March 7, 2023
CPP held its Black History Experience event Feb. 28 to wrap up Black History Month by celebrating Black students and honoring multiple icons of Black history.
The event was organized by the African American Student Center, the Black Student Union and the Centers for Transformation, Retention, Equity & Empowerment in an effort to offer creative and engaging experiences to honor Black history.
AASC Coordinator Derick Prince explained the idea behind the Black History Experience event.
“Myself, another staff member and students decided that we wanted to do this event to culminate Black History Month,” said Prince. “Students wanted to do something that was interactive for them and people who attend the event as well.”
Jake Northington, coordinator of Black Achievement Success and Engagement in Science, talked about the purpose of the event and its meaning.
“Throughout the month, you learn a little bit of the history of hip hop. You may learn about the civil rights movement. At the end of it all, you come here to the Black History Experience and now you get to experience a Black person in history through the student,” said Northington.
One of the highlights of Black History Experience was the cover of the song “Strange Fruit” by singer Billie Holiday, which music industries student Nyilah Palmer interpreted on stage.
“I love Billie, I love jazz, and I think if you love jazz, you love classics like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald,” said Palmer. “They were people who were such powerhouses at the time, where they didn’t have the opportunities like white people did, so Billie Holiday having this beautiful, illustrious career where she was shot to fame wasn’t normal for Black people, and I think it is such an inspirational story.”
At the same time, Palmer gave a word of advice to speak up against injustices.
“When something is wrong and not as it should be, we as Black people, as a community and human beings, it is alright to speak up about it,” said Palmer.
Biology student Nwamaka Ofoegbu, who played singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, expressed what Tharpe meant to Black history.
“Rosetta Tharpe represents a strong Black female figure who is hidden. She created the rock ‘n’ roll genre. She is known as the mother of rock ‘n’ roll, but the thing is not many people know that much about her.” said Ofoegbu. She described Tharpe as a representation of “strength and uniqueness. ”
Ofoegbu added by stating the fact that many Black creators on social media do not get enough recognition towards their content compared to white creators. She concluded by commenting on the importance of recognizing Black creators to “learn more about them and give them the proper recognition they deserve.” .
Muhammad Ali, Ella Baker, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, Althea Gibson and Anthony Crawford are examples of the multiple Black history icons, who students and faculty celebrated along Black literature, art and inventions during the Black History Experience event to give Black History Month a grand finale at CPP.
“I think we should not just have a month,” said history student Erianah Benjamin. “I feel that Black history should be taught and celebrated yearlong.”
Feature image by Daniel Duque
Show Comments (0)