By Essence Sellers
San Jose, CA- On February 27, 2015, was the 1st annual Black History Month Cultural
Showcase at San Jose State University in the new Student Union Theater. The newly opened
Theater was decorated with black, green, and red in symbolizing the Liberation flag colors.
Student leaders collaborated with student organizations, faculty, staff, and community leaders to
showcase Black and African culture through food, music, dance, and culture. Did I mention this
was a free event? Food was catered by “Back A Yard Jamaican/Caribbean Restaurant”, which
included jerk chicken, beans & rice, plantain, and mac n cheese. As well as “Jon Jon’s BBQ”,
this served ribs and tri-tip.
The keynote speaker was Rasheed Shabazz, a Communications Director for the Afrikan Black
Coalition, which is a statewide organization of Black students in California and UC Berkeley
alumni. Currently, he is an editor of the Afrikan Black Coalition’s news publication, The ABC
Movement. Following the speaker, Eritrean Student Association and Ethiopian Student
Association graced the stage with a cultural dance performance. Black Student Union President,
Alexander Donald, also performed a few songs.
This event had all the elements of Black and African culture. It was well-rounded and brought a
community together. The keynote speaker connected historical events to present events and
brought to light issues that we as a community need to be aware of and to promote change, but it
starts within each of us. It was a beautiful showcase to celebrate the end of Black History Month
on our campus. It was an empowering experience overall.