The Rootin’ for Everybody Black event, held by the Eastern University Black Students’ League, had a great turn out and was a fun way to learn about, and celebrate, Black culture. The event, which took place on Feb. 15 in the McInnis Auditorium, featured local Black artists, singers, and creators from Eastern University, and the greater Philadelphia area. The event was attended not only by Eastern students, but outside visitors, Temple University Step Team, BSL of Ursinus, and our very own Blaze joined the celebration as well.
Eastern students Shavon Wilson and Maya Harris hosted the event and were tasked with engaging the crowd with some of the fun and uplifting activities they had planned. The night started with a singing of the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, sung by a student and well-known worship singer on campus, El-Fatih Chase. This was followed by a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi, who were both recent victims of a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. This powerful start to the night left attendees feeling reverent and excited to celebrate Black joy.
The event showcased Black designers and models, offering a space for creators to come and be celebrated for their works and accomplishments. In between sets, the audience engaged in trivia about Black creators and filmmakers and were awarded with prizes. Students also danced in styles such as the jerk, and the soulja-boy crank that, as well as sang popular songs which were originally created by Black songwriters.
Harris described this event to be one of purposeful celebration, showcasing up-and-coming Black creators, as well as an educational event on Black history and Culture. The event welcomed people of all ethnicities interested in learning about Black culture and history, celebrating the triumphs of Black people in America, and lifting up Black voices. “We embraced the past,” Harris said, “whereas people just want to talk about the pain of the past. Instead of oppression, we focused on celebrating the victories [of Black people] and giving a pedestal for contributions which have been ignored.”
Eastern BSL’s Rootin’ for Everybody Black offered a space for the celebration of everything Black individuals have accomplished, as well as the many contributions to progress African Americans have made, despite marginalization and systemic silencing. Harris added that she would love to see more people come out to these events next year. She encourages all people to support Black joy events and engage in celebrating Black history on campus. The support of people of all ethnicities celebrating Black culture is an easy and important way to uplift Black voices and needs on campus.
All in all, the event was a huge success, offering space for black culture, history, voices, and celebration. For people interested in joining the Eastern University Black Student League, the club meets at 4pm on Thursdays in HHC 106. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org about how to get involved on campus for future events and support.