Despite difficulties, black excellence shines

By Rob McGreevy

Technical difficulties marred what was otherwise a proud and lively display of black excellence last night at the Quinnipiac Black Student Union’s Black History Month Showcase.

The showcase in Buckman Theater was just the latest in a series of events Quinnipiac University planned to commemorate both Black History Month and the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birthday.

The event saw its first technical setback during this opening video when the sound feed was cut three minutes in. The video played on in silence. Awkwardly at times of black triumph, yet harrowing at any of the many instances of horror in the history of African-Americans. The sound continued to be resurrected and subsequently cut throughout the night.

Despite the difficulties, the crowd still enjoyed multiple performances that included poetry from students, a performance from Quinnipiac spirit group Step to Perfection, and a series of intermittent hip-hop, spoken word and beatbox performances from proverbial warm-up guy/hype man Frank E. Brady (affectionately referred to as The Hope Dealer).

Though the members of the Black Student Union who organized the event were clearly disappointed, they still had a vision for what the night meant to them and their fellow black students. The organization’s director of public relations Kerri Gravesande described the event as a celebration of black excellence.

“The point of this event was to show the different aspects of black history,” she said. “It’s not like slavery is forgotten but that’s not the point of this, it’s not a pity party and it’s not a cry for help, it to show everybody that we are resilient people and we always come back stronger and that we’ve done amazing things.”

When asked what black excellence meant to her, Black Student Union Secretary Coralie Joseph said, “I would say it begins with just loving yourself and accepting yourself… and realizing you are useful to society whether you see it or not. It doesn’t matter the adversities that you’ve faced throughout your life you are a very valued person in society… and taking that and using that to help other people, not keeping it to yourself and sharing it with the rest of the world.”

When asked the same question, Gravisande simply said “Us.”