BSA hosts ‘Celebration of Black Arts’ event

As a part of Black History Month, the event featured 11 student artists

Meg Zenke, Contributing Writer

On Saturday, Feb. 12, the Black Student Alliance hosted their annual Celebration of the Black Arts event in Brendle Recital Hall. 

The mission of the Celebration of the Black Arts is to uplift the community of Black students and groups within Winston-Salem and to give them the opportunity to share their unique talents, thoughts and personal expressions. 

“My favorite part of [the Celebration of the Black Arts] is that it showcases not only musical expression but every aspect that someone is willing to share,” said Morgan Lyke, Black Student Alliance vice president. “The Black students on campus can bring so much to the table through their extremely unique identities and talents, and the CBA truly celebrates them in the height of Black History Month.” 

The celebration highlighted 11 students within a variety of artistic disciplines, including singing, dancing, poetry reading and violin playing. Performers included Fifth Son Band (Cameron French, Will Maris, Malachi Woodard and Ata Yilmazemre), Zhané Waye, Gah’ques Ligons, Alex Silverio, Nasra Deria, Jolie Dumay, Jo$e Wop and Jae Scott. 

The atmosphere allowed students and faculty to learn more about other cultures and their means of cultural expression. The performances were received with energetic applause and excitement from the audience. 

“I personally enjoy seeing others share their craft,” Lyke said. “Talent comes in so many forms, and as a musician, it was always beautiful to see other musicians play a piece that means something to them.”

Freshman Gah’ques Ligons sang “Need You Bad” by Jazmine Sullivanone, one of his favorite songs to perform. 

“I usually don’t sing in front of a crowd, but it means a lot to me to have a platform and to be a part of a platform that represents and showcases Black people and their talents,” Ligons said. 

Ligons said he put in extra time and effort into working on his stage presence and making the song fit for him before performing at the event. 

“It felt great to perform,” he said. “I haven’t been on a stage in a while, and I loved all the positive energy that I got from the audience.” 

He continued: “The event as a whole was a very great experience, and I am glad I was able to share the stage with talented Black creators at Wake Forest,” Ligons said.

This year, the Black Student Alliance also partnered with the stArt Gallery in Reynolda Village to exhibit visual works of art in addition to the celebration on Feb. 12. 

These works are aligned with the theme of “Black Joy: Centering Community and Individual Expression” and will be on display from Feb. 15 to March 3. Attendees of the Celebration of the Black Arts received free tickets to later visit the visual art gallery. 

A highlight video of some performances and more information on BSA’s Black History Month programming can be found on their Instagram, @wfu_bsa.