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.
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."