BSA hosts 44th annual Black Power Rally
After the crowd filed in, the lights in the theater dimmed. The lights on the stage came up, and four students stood on the stage in silence.
The silence was broken by spoken word poetry from the students, each covering different issues that are relevant to black Americans today.
That is how the Black Student Alliance, or BSA, opened the 44th annual Black Power Rally on Nov. 5 at the Wharton Center.
The event featured skits focused on issues black Americans face and songs and poetry performed by the students of the BSA.
“The Black Power Rally is essentially a show put on by students for students or anyone in the community," interdisciplinary studies in social sciences junior Ashley Carr said. "We basically want to celebrate black culture and anything surrounding like talent, current news, current issues pertaining to black people.”
Carr, the political affairs director of the BSA, and other BSA students were excited about the performance and looked forward to portraying the importance of the event.
Carr said she feels the event is important because if they didn't put on this event and raise awareness for these issues, it might never be done.
“With the election going on and everything, I want everyone to know your vote matters and a lot of people don’t know that, especially in the African-American community," journalism freshman Antione Taylor said.
This sense of importance showed up through the actions of the student performers.
The event began with spoken word poetry from several students, and following this, BSA President Kelsi Horn formally opened the event.
Throughout the show, amid many skits that touched on racial issues, BSA members performed songs and poetry.
Two of the songs performed related to issues of the way black people are viewed in America today.
The performances became more passionate as the night went on.
Human development and family studies sophomore Norrlyn-Michael Allen got an especially enthusiastic reaction from the crowd during his performance.
In the final skit of the night, after a white police officer fired on one of the black students, Taylor proclaimed, "You don't know my pain."
To end the performance, in reference to an earlier skit in which only one student knelt during the national anthem, students knelt together in protest.
After the performance, activist David Banner gave a speech reaching out to the students at MSU encouraging them to make change in the world.
Banner asked students why they don't go back to the communities they came form and teach them the information from the education they couldn't afford.
"A lot of people can't afford this education, why don't you go back and teach them?" Banner said. @thesnews— Brendan (@baxter_brendan) November 6, 2016
Banner ended his speech by discussing the difference between racism and white supremacy. Banner said racism is caring for one own's race, while white supremacy is believing that white people are better than black people.
Through the use of an analogy, he encouraged black people to take care of their own.
@thesnews He added, "The problem isn't that they're racist, the problem is that you aren't."— Brendan (@baxter_brendan) November 6, 2016