Written by Savannah Richards, Staff Writer
Featured photo: Zoe Hunter
The Campus Activities Board hosted its first Night of African-American Excellence event on Feb. 20 as a way to honor Black History Month.
“We really wanted a chance to showcase and present the accomplishments, artistry and work of our african american students at Piedmont College,” said Sean Ogle.
The events reception, which began at 6:30 p.m., featured exhibits such as a civil rights timeline, music from African-American artists, and films that were directed by people of color.
“It took some collaboration between students like Maya Driver who donated some of her artwork to be displayed, and the CAB team who made more exhibit pieces to go in the gallery,” said Ogle.
Students such as Chandler Allen, Dante Wilson and Jacson Moody got involved by performing in the showcase. Allen, for example, performed the song “My Man” from the musical “Funny Girl.”
“I believe that Black History Month is so important, and this is the first time they’ve had an event like this, so I feel very honored to perform,” said Allen. “I felt so compelled to do so. It just excited me so much because I really wanted people to know our talent and what we could do.”
The idea of the event was to show all Piedmont students that they have a voice and to build a greater sense of community on campus.
“I think having diverse and inclusive events really helps give students a model to look at and say ‘I see students and organizations that care about me, my culture and my story,’” said Ogle.
“When they have that it makes them feel more comfortable at the school and in classes, and allows them to have dialogue with the faculty, staff and administration.”
For the many students who attended, such as sophomore Gabi Rufus, this event was more than just a display of talents.
“My whole life I’ve been to nothing but lack-of-diversity schools and we never had any event that recognized my culture,” said Rufus. “It’s just really nice to see someone recognizing it for once.”
“Events like this definitely bring more inclusivity to the school, and bring the retention rate of minorities up. It shows that the school cares about us and–just like the pride walk last semester made all sexualities feel welcome–I believe that this will make every minority feel welcome.”
Inclusive events such as the Night of African-American Excellence can make a small private college like Piedmont feel less like a cluster of buildings and more like a home, and they give a voice to all of students.
“I’m speaking to the world,” said Wilson. “And I want to encourage people to have events like this and celebrate who we are and where we came from.”