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Celebrating African American culture through various arts

by Zach Wagner - Lifestyles Editor
Wed, Mar 4th 2020 01:00 pm
Deja Baxter serenades the crowd singing the powerful lyrics of Solanges' `Weary.`  The Dream Team  delivers an amplifed performance to start off a night full of performances.
Deja Baxter serenades the crowd singing the powerful lyrics of Solanges' "Weary." The Dream Team delivers an amplifed performance to start off a night full of performances.

On Saturday, Feb. 29, the Organization for Students of African Descent (OSAD) hosted its annual All Black Everything event, showcasing different African culture and art. Paintings, poems, songs and dance performances were on display for all who attended to enjoy.

“This is an event we have every year, it’s pretty traditional, it’s been going on since I’ve been here and probably before that,” President of OSAD Alysha Rios said. “We are always preparing for it — every year is a different theme; this year the theme is black art.”

Planning for this event goes on throughout most of the year, considering there is a lot of moving parts to put in place and it is one of the bigger events OSAD puts on each year.

“We are always kind of planning, this is something we know is going to happen; it always happens around the same time,” Rios said.

Throughout the event, students were presented with a vast array of performances from people who attend The College at Brockport and even from some who don’t. All Black Everything is an event that is welcoming to people from all different places and cultures, coming together to celebrate African Art.

“Throughout the event we usually just have different performances, both from on and off campus,” Rios said. “This show we have a performance from a step team out of Buffalo State, we have singers from on and off campus. Fitting with the theme — we are going to be highlighting black art, but we always have performances at this event.”

Rios believes this event is important in order to bring everyone in the OSAD community and beyond together for a special night filled with great entertainment and company. This event is a good opportunity to connect with people and to share talents other people may not know about.

“Events like these are important because it gives us a chance to all come together and all see what our peers are doing, getting the chance to give people exposure,” Rios said.

Rios has been a member of the OSAD community for a while and has always wanted to use this night as a chance to express her love for African Art. Once becoming the president back in the Fall of 2019, she knew she would be taking the event down this avenue, giving her peers the chance to understand her passion for art.

“For me as the president — I came in and I knew I always wanted to do this theme,” Rios said. “I am a lover of black art, my sister is an artist — I love seeing black art; I have friends that are artists.”

Bringing in outside parties to participate in their events is what makes OSAD special, giving core members a chance to interact and make connections with people they may not have ever got a chance to engage with. 

Host for the event, Jacob Garcia, known on stage as Jayycardo, is a musician and entertainer out of SUNY Plattsburgh. After connecting with OSAD last year, Garcia and OSAD saw a future of collaborating, finally coming together for All Black Everything.

“The former president [of OSAD] reached out to me last year through resources and connections,” Garcia said. “They heard about me and I heard what they were doing here on campus and I decided it would be best fit if we just worked together.”

Garcia thought it was important to collaborate with OSAD for this event to celebrate black history month. It was perfect timing to bring people together to celebrate the culture. 

“Specifically for this event, just for the simple fact that it is Black History Month and I’m African American myself,” Garcia said. “It just makes sense that we come together and just keep the culture going.”

Garcia brought great energy, getting the crowd on their feet along with the emcee skills from DJ Clutch. The two worked together to fill the room with excitement and electricity. They kicked things off by paying homage to the late rappers Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke, along with basketball icon Kobe Bryant.

The Dream Team dance squad kicked off the performances grabbing the attention of the room right off the bat. Next, Brockport student Deja Baxter sang a rendition of Solange’s song “Weary.” After, Nikki Frye, Christian Guity and Eaim Guity gave a passionate spoken word performance, expressing the realities of African American culture.

As the night went on, the performances kept the crowd intrigued and engaged. African Culture was on show throughout the whole evening, through song, dance and poetry. 

Senior Imani Coaxum encouraged students all over the campus to come and enjoy the festivities and all the event has to offer. Coaxum thinks students shouldn’t hesitate, just give the event a try and see what happens.

“Just show up, it’s always best to just come anyway,” Coaxum said. “Don’t be unsure because OSAD always brings excellence anyway.”

All Black Everything was a showcase of art and talent that showed off some incredible talent in Brockport and in the surrounding area. In the midst of a diversity outrage plaguing the campus, events like this help to sustain the glue that holds the community together

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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