BSU + ASA Homecoming: 90s v. Afrobeatz

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Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Allnut.

On Saturday November 12, the Black Student Union (BSU) in collaboration with the African Student Association (ASA) organized their first homecoming event in Daugherty-Palmer Commons. BSU is a club offered here at SMCM that serves as a voice and source of support and community for the African-American/African student population on campus. This club unites all people to embrace and celebrate black culture.

Flyer for 90's Vs. Afrobeatz, the first BSU/ASA Homecoming Dance at SMCM.
Flyer for 90’s Vs. Afrobeatz, the first BSU/ASA Homecoming Dance at SMCM.

BSU explains that their mission is to regularly program and provide cultural activities as well as influence changes in academic and social matters to include the unique needs of black students. They provide an awareness of black culture for the college and community, as well as encourage intercultural involvement and diversity from the black experience into all phases of campus life.

Meanwhile, ASA is going into its second year at SMCM. It was established by President Hannah Gyamfi and Vice President Kebron Negesse, both juniors, when they realized that there should be an environment where African students can connect with each other and raise awareness about issues in Africa. Their mission is to act as a vessel of reference to inquiring minds interested in African issues and topics, as well as to be a source of camaraderie to the incoming/outgoing African students on campus. Through the hard work that goes into production of events, such as homecoming, ASA contributes to SMCM’s diversity.

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The event on Saturday had a great turnout. The preparations took weeks and the event showed the impact all of that effort. The theme of the night was 90’s vs. Afrobeatz; it played homage to the 1990s and the eclectic sounds of Africa, while still celebrating the music of the Caribbean as well as South and Central America. Attendees wore African print or popular fashion clothes from the 90s.

African style clothes were represented from all over the continent with attendees happy to showcase the fashion from their cultures. Students wore fashion from West African countries like Ghana and Nigeria, as well as East African countries like Ethiopia. However, most attendees kept it simple with a dhuku or African head wrap.

The event hosted two DJs who played hip-hop, reggae, afrobeats, soca and dancehall music. A highlight from the homecoming included the mannequin challenge, an internet phenomenon that involves remaining motionless while a video is recorded with music in the background. The mixture of various music was also a crowd favorite, with one attendee, junior Elizabeth Okundaye, saying, “The mix of music was nice because it allowed me to share the joy of dancing to West African music while learning how to do the new running man dance,” adding, “It was great.”

ASA VP Kebron Negesee said, “It was super fun. Music was great. Everyone was dancing and no one looked bored.” After the emotional week due in whole to the election results of last Tuesday, the event was much needed for the students, especially those of color, to relax and enjoy a night of dancing and music.

The event was the first of many homecoming events and if you did not attend this one, be sure not to miss out next year.

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