By: Kaliah Butler
The Black Student Alliance hosted the 44th annual Black Power Rally at the Wharton Center. There was singing, poetry, dancing and acting that took place. Emotions ran high throughout the show and laughter filled the room. The show began with a video presentation followed by the Black National Anthem. Scene one “Target Practice” of the play Toy Guns opened eyes about what it means to be properly educated about what is going on around us in today’s society. With the election so close and all of the police brutalities that are going on I believe that as a black woman in America it is important to be aware of what is going on in not only our community, but in our country. Following the first scene of the play, Hannah Brunson sung a song entitled “Don’t Touch My Hair.” This song really stuck to me, because growing up I ALWAYS hated how nappy and tangled my hair would be. I remember always begging my mom to give me a perm so that I could have straight hair like the other girls in my class. The song reminded me that my hair is beautiful and to always love my hair no matter what people may think of it.
Scene Two “Rifling Risk”, took place at a football game while the national anthem was being played. One of the cheerleaders decided to take a knee while the national anthem played. The climax of this scene was the main argument about why she decided to take a knee. For those that do not know, the National Anthem is a very racist song. The star football player of the team goes on to say “Do you know what I can lose?”. I believe that this is why many college athletes here at Michigan State and pro-athletes do not stand up for the Injustice in America. They are too afraid to lose endorsements and scholarships, than fighting for what is right. The song “Black Man in America” had very strong visuals such as cast members mourning in the background of a fellow black man who has lost his life. The singer Jelani Mathews had bullet holes with blood stains in his shirt representing a black man whose life was taken at the hand of a cop. The main message of his song was that it is hard to be a black man in America. The final scene “One Shot”, concluded with all athletes and fans in the stand sitting/taking a knee while the National Anthem played. The final scene was a strong message, because I believe that it is time to stand up for what is right!
Student speaker Darrius Gregory gave a very powerful and inspirational speech at the Black Power Rally. He made references to President Lou Ann Simon telling her “the hour has come.” Recently on campus there was a very offensive Instagram post from a MSU student with a racial slur. President Simon’s response in my opinion to the situation was very nonchalant. Darrius Gregory goes on to say that “we are not moved, phased, but pissed.” It is time for us to unite as one as not only a black community, but as black students at a predominantly white institution. I think that Darrius Gregory did an excellent job educating those in the audience who lack an understanding of what has really been going on not only on campus, but in America as well. Guest Speaker Lavell William Crump, better known as David Banner gave a very brutal, but very honest reality check about the country that we live in and being black in America. David Banner had no filter what so ever that is why I enjoyed his speech so much! One thing that stuck with me that he said was “There aren’t any good cops, because if there were any good cops there will be no bad cops.” This statement is very true because if the supposedly “good cops” know about what the “bad cops” are doing then why are they not standing up for what is right? His speech consisted of him speaking about white supremacy and how it affects black people. David Banner concluded his speech by asking us this question “ When you leave MSU what are you going to do to better the world for your people?”.
As always, The Black Student Alliance hosted an excellent program once again. From the performers to the speakers the past four years they have never let me down. I took so much away from the Black Power Rally and I cannot wait until I start to implement their advice in my everyday life. If you missed the Black Power Rally this year, you definitely missed out on a great show. Sadly, you have to wait until next year, but check out our highlights below!
#YourVoiceMatters #WeMatter #BlackLivesMatter #BlackPower