The men of the Eastern Michigan University NAACP Chapter put on, “Celebration of Black Women,” this event featured different forms of art that all celebrated women, Student Center Auditorium, March 19.
The women’s celebration was an art showcase which gave a platform for male and female student artist to celebrate black women. The show was hosted by Darius Anthony, chapter president and artwork from student artist Bria Erby and Ashanti Africana was on display.
“The show was inspired by the lack of appreciation that black women feel from black men. We wanted to show them that we do care, love, respect, and appreciate them,” said Anthony, NAACP.
The men of NAACP honored dynamic and inspiring women around campus, and during the celebration the women selected were awarded Soul Sista Awards for their excellence. Each Soul Sista recipient took the time to speak about their respective organization and highlight how they uplift women.
Soul Sista receipent Faith Williams, was honored on behalf of black women and the lgbtq community. Williams spoke on the need for the equal treatment of queer and trans black women. Markala Moore, was honored for being a women US soldier. Moore spoke about overcoming people being ignorant to her culture and said it is each black women's purpose to do their part in helping black women to prosper.
Additional recipients were: Candice Caldwell, You beautiful Black Women president; Kerry Revels, Project Big Sister president; Vyctorya lewis, president of The Phoenix; Tanasia Morton, student bod president; Brianna Moore, student body director of student services; Kara Speigner, founder of the guiding light foundation; Jessika Tatum, Miss Black Michigan ambassador.
"The event was nice and I appreciate the men of NAACP for throwing it," said Tatum. "On EMU's campus and in our society we are used to seeing either a lack of representation or even more often a misrepresentation of black women, so it was nice to go this event where not only were black women represented but our talents and the positive things we do in the community were showcased. Winning an award was also a great surprise because it's always nice to receive recognition for the things that you do," she continued.
The acts in the showcase varied from singers, poets and actors. Sam Watson sang an orginal song, "I can't help but miss you," a song that reflected on how often women aren't appreciated until they're gone. Destany Monet recited a poem dedicated to the love she received from her mother and how it manifested in her life. Royale performed a spoken word that addressed how society sometimes overlooks the beauty of black women and doesn't recognize how deeply rooted beauty is in the heritage of black women. Toia Dennis sang a song about the resilience of black women and how they remain resiliently beautiful
To continue the celebration of women, Tequeria Barrett graced the stage to sing. In addition, Close up Theatre Troupe performed a skit that included spoken word to highlight the beauty in every form of being black. Cleashae Crowder read a poem celebrating the different forms of black women and their unique stories. The show concluded with a contemporary dance by Alexx jean-Louis to a Maya Angelou poem.
“Our goal was to celebrate and appreciate black women in the EMU community and we accomplished that goal,” said Anthony, NAACP. “After the show black women responded by saying they were honored that black men showed love to black women, so I hope the men in NAACP will continue this program to celebrate black women."