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Fourth Annual Black History Month Showcase

Riya Alexander performs at Brooklyn College’s “Fourth Annual Black History Month Showcase.” PHOTO/ Marcus Ayala

By Marcus Ayala

Published: March 6th, 2019

Black History Month at Brooklyn College was capped off with the “Fourth Annual Black History Month Showcase.” The event featured numerous different talents from students from multiple different Caribbean backgrounds.

The Black History Month committee, NAACP club, and African Students Union gathered diverse talents that everyone could enjoy. Performances ranged from the Brooklyn College gospel, Val Johnson, Sharon Davis, Caribbean Students Union’s traditional dancing and even Brooklyn Colleges version of “Let me Holla” from MTV show “Wild N out.”

The first performer was Val Johnson who recently graduated from Brooklyn College in the summer of 2018 with a degree in English. Johnson received a warm ovation after he performed his new single “Be my girl,” which he now plans to release a video for. The crowd’s reaction only lifted his spirits more.

Tyanna Green sees dancing as a hobby of hers. She takes a lot of pride in it. “If the dance isn’t on point then people will see every flaw,” Green said.

Brooklyn College Caribbean Student Union members from Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, Barbados and Grenada preformed showing the diverse Caribbean heritages. Green said “We take pride in where we come from.”

What’s a diversity event without diversity? According to the event’s DJ, he liked the vast number of countries that were represented over the course of the showcase. He enjoyed being the DJ of the event and would do it again.

According to Brandon White, the president of the Black History Month committee on campus, “Black History and blackness isn’t only what you see on TV, it’s not a one track thing. Black History month doesn’t have to be a four-week span of doing lectures on MLK.”

A person who worked with the Black History Month committee from their very first showcase to its Fourth Annual is Riya Alexander. She was part of the NAACP and made her college debut, where she pushed herself to perform. From then to now she’s gained a ton of confidence, which she used to win over the crowd.

She said, “It was nice to see a crowd so supportive of their peers and artists they don’t know.” She believed the event was successful in that perspective. “I saw people bring in more and more chairs for people to sit and the room was so packed.”

She believed “Everyone was enjoying themselves and at the end of the day, as a performer, that’s all you can hope for.” It’s no easy task being a performer and Alexander explains. “You have to appease to your crowd’s vibe while still sounding your best and that’s never an easy task.”

She takes pride in her music and states “At the end of the day, music is a language I can use to communicate with people all over the world and be understood.”

As White said at the event, “Anytime you are together just existing, you are creating black history.”

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