This year’s Black History Month came to an end with a beautiful commemoration presented by The Weekend Activities Committee and The Office of Cultural Programs. Respect Your Roots: Black History Month Celebration took place on Sunday, February 25, in the Seabrook Auditorium. The commemoration was hosted by Brian Barber, a student at FSU. The night was definitely something to commemorate.
The program kicked off with a montage of powerful images of Black history presented by King Greasy Entertainment. The short film walked the audience through a timeline of hardships from slavery to present-day racial issues. A performance by the University Concert Choir also moved the crowd with a Negro Spiritual, a type of religious song originating among Black slaves in the American South.
The powerful performances of the first half of the program included a dance by Ayanna Taylor, spoken word by Jamario Lynch, and two step tributes to Africa by the Pi Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and the Omega Beta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. The Male Royal Court proudly portrayed the Seven Founders of Fayetteville State University. It was a brief, but important, representation of how our Historically Black College and University came to be.
The second half of the night featured a tribute to The Harlem Renaissance with an ensemble performance by singer Aaliyah Tate, dancer Alexis McNeal and artist Alexis Sweeney. Tate performed “Strange Fruit” made famous by Billie Holiday in 1939. Following Tate was spoken word poetry by Victoria Frye and Bre’anna Washington. The performance was about loving our natural hair and the power of being Black. The profound “I Have A Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. was also performed by emcee Brian Barber. The finale of the night was Tara Melvin’s powerhouse performance of “Change Me.”
The night was overpowered with heart, soul and everything Black History Month represents. The response from the audience proved that this celebration was wellneeded. The Weekend Activities Committee and The Office of Cultural Programs along with every talented singer, dancer, artists, and poet did an outstanding job. Let’s hope Respect Your Roots comes back next year for another fantastic show.