I Am Because of You: Black History Month Showcase


The BSU Showcase featured many dance groups, as shown above.

Tallulah Laska, Staff Writer

Villanova’s Black Student Union (BSU) hosted its annual Black History Month Showcase, entitled “I Am Because of You” on Friday, February 24 in the Villanova Room of the Connolly Center. The showcase was an homage to the relatives and ancestors of Black people who have shaped Black Villanovans into who they are today. The show featured a multitude of performances, from dances to a capella to spoken word poetry. 

The showcase was hosted by junior Tiane Parris. They put on a fabulous performance of introducing each of the guests and brought great energy to the room. Parris was clearly well loved by the audience, as they received non-stop cheering and laughter.  

“We are celebrating those who came before us [and] those who paved the way,” Parris explained as the showcase began. 

The first performance was by Amari Rebel & The Movement, a band that focuses on provoking change and freedom through its music. They were singing and rapping over top of sampled songs that the audience knew and loved. 

Up next was Wazobia, an African Dance Company. They were full of spins, booty shaking and footwork with tons of energy. Their moves, coupled with the upbeat music, brought an abundance of cheers and whooping from the audience. 

Following Wazobia was Ciara Chantelle, a spoken word poet from Philly. She performed a few poems about mental health and well-being. 

“See, you’ve been using your childhood trauma / as daily mantras,” Chantelle recited. “And have the nerve to look at karma like she’s doing something wrong / Like she’s the problem.” 

Chantelle’s recitation of poems evoked strong feelings from the audience. There were audible gasps and sighs as she spoke about trauma and deep emotions, and how to work through them. 

After Chantelle was Nova Step Nation, the first official step team at Villanova. Step Nation performed synchronized stepping and clapping, both with a beat and without. Step Nation is also hosting a “Stepping for Black History” workshop on Tuesday, February 28. 

Up next was The SaxMan, Noel Haye. Haye combined smooth saxophone jazz with modern music. Haye played on top of beats, which had the audience dancing and singing along. 

An a capella group followed The SaxMan. The group, The Inspiration, is an a capella group from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). It focuses on education through people of the African diaspora. 

After their performance, one of The Inspiration’s soloists stayed on the stage and was accompanied by Dr. Hollis, a rapper also from UPenn. The two of them sang a few songs, alternating between singing and rapping. Then, Dr. Hollis continued by himself by rapping to beats from DJ Nana, who had been deejaying the entire showcase. 

The last performance of the night was by VU Superlative, an all-style multicultural dance team. When the Superlatives began their performance, the room erupted with cheers. Their energy was like no other. With their high kicks and big smiles, the Superlative ended the showcase with a bang. 

One student attendee, Lauren Amoo, really enjoyed the showcase. Amoo sported a stunning red gown and was dancing and cheering the entire night. 

“The event was truly amazing,” Amoo said. “It was such a great showing of Black excellence and I loved seeing the Black community come together and have so much fun. It would not have been possible without all of the hard work from BSU, and I am so appreciative of them and their drive to put on fun events for our community.” 

Parris brought energy to the show through their encouragement of audience participation. They were able to get thunderous applause for each of the performers and overall put on an incredible show for the audience. 

“I really enjoyed hosting the event,” Parris said. “The turnout was very good and there was a variety of performances that really touched on so many parts of Black culture. I always enjoy hosting events like this because I think contributing to the expression of Black culture at Villanova is important.” 

Parris closed out the show by inviting the audience up onto the dance floor to dance to DJ Nana’s music. There was much laughter and smiles radiated off of everybody. BSU could not have put on a better show to close out Black History Month.