A cultural showcase, a soul food dinner, a lecture and a march all contributed to heightened visibility for Black Heritage Month on campus this year.
The Black Culture Society hosted its third annual cultural showcase, “Heritage: Black Life in the Spirit of a People,” on Feb. 9, allowing students and faculty to express black culture in various forms.
“It was a show on the richness of the Diaspora,” said Ivanley Noisette, outgoing president of the Black Cultural Society.
The six-part show began at 5:30 p.m. with a soul food dinner and a live performance by the band Franklin Bridge in the Villanova Room.
Dr. Crystal Lucky of the English department introduced the Black Spirituality part of the show, which consisted of praise dances, choir performances and a speech by Dr. Laurence Little.
The third segment of the show, The Voices of Resilience, used student monologues to show the importance of individuals who resist the negative influences around them.
Dr. Terry Nance, vice president of Multicultural Affairs, introduced the fourth segment of the show, Innovative Minds.
An intermission followed with more music from Franklin Bridge and food from East and West Africa.
Exodus, the final part of the show, included senior sendoffs and the announcement of the Black Cultural Society’s new executive board.
The show was scheduled to end at 8:30 p.m.; however, because of all of the activities, the show went until 10:30 p.m.
“This has been the best show yet,” said Walter Smith-Randolph, new president of the Black Cultural Society. “Ivanley Noisette and his executive board did a great job.”
Nance said that this year’s performance was less like a talent show, as it had been in previous years, and more focused on sharing the richness of the black culture.
Dining Services hosted an American Soul Food Dinner in all the resident dining halls on Feb. 13.
Featured entrées included fried chicken, Carter’s southern BBQ baby back ribs and baked lemon pepper catfish.
According to Nance, events as simplistic as a soul food night are beneficial in making the majority of the Villanova population aware of Black History Month.
“It makes Villanovans aware that there are other cultures out there,” Smith-Randolph said. “Villanovans become so wrapped up in this Villanova bubble that they often forget.”
The Africana Studies Program presented a lecture by Dr. Darlene Clark Hine, professor of African-American studies and history at Northwestern University, on Feb. 19.
Finally, a Black History Month March to remember black American who made significant contributions to American society will be held on Monday at 7 p.m. starting at CEER.
Nance said Black History Month offers valuable educational insights.
She also noted that we must understand the many cultures of America before we can understand America as one united country.