Point Park Globe

Students’ art, talents showcased at Black Student Union open mic night

Written By Robert Berger, Staff Writer

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The Black Student Union (BSU) held Bless Up with BSU, their third open mic night of the semester on Nov. 16 in University Center.

“Each month we hold an open mic night because we really like to have the students express themselves, especially through performances,” said BSU treasurer Ni’kyah Paskell. “We really just want to create an open environment for everyone”.

BSU President Aniya Thomas and former BSU President and Point Park alumni Christian Moore hosted the open mic and opened the night with an icebreaker activity. Thomas and Moore gave students the topic, “things black people say or do” while everyone in attendance shared a response.

To start things off, Moore said, “if you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.”

Performances started with junior musical theater major Kendall Claxton, who sng India Arie’s song “India’s Song.” Following Claxton, Point Park criminal justice alumni Percy Wimbs took the floor and recited a poem about the powers of love.

“Love affects us in every type of way,” read Wimbs. “Fall in love and learn to embrace it.”

Following his recital, Moore asked Wimbs how poetry has been a blessing in his life. Wimbs responded by saying he wants to make a lasting impression on the people he meets and that poetry is the perfect way to do so. He served as a deacon at Zion Hill Church in Pittsburgh and often used poetry while speaking to parishioners.

After the first performances, Thomas and Moore lead another game and broke students into groups to play Guess the Song. Group members picked a slip of paper with a song title out of a pile. Then, with one minute on the clock, that member hummed the melody while the group members guessed what the song was. Songs varied from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to the TV theme song of “That’s So Raven.”

More performances followed the game as freshman cinema production major Lauren Killian performed his original spoken word piece “Just Imagine”. Killian’s piece concentrates on what it would be like if everyone would imagine what life would be like without material possessions and if the individual focuses on being a better person.

“One person that really inspired me with this is the pastor, Joel Osteen,” Killain said. “I like motivating and inspiring people with my words, too.”

Killian attends BSU meetings weekly and has even competed in spoken word competitions for prizes up to $20,000.

BSU meetings consist of games and open discussions about anything students feel like talking about. A group poem is also written at each meeting in which each student writes a stanza to create one large poem. Students are also given the opportunity to create artwork during meetings.

During open mic night, some students worked on a poster board of paintings and words to express postelection feelings. The poster board piece was started at BSU’s previous meeting which was dedicated to post election discussion.

“Some people have the perception that only black people can come, but that’s not it,” Paskell said. “Anyone is welcome, and we are open to talk about what affects everybody here at school or anywhere.”

The BSU was founded in 1967 and has been a dedicated multicultural group for all students. The group disbanded for a few years, but alumnus Christian Moore reestablished BSU as a club in 2013. Currently, BSU meets every Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. in the JVH Auditorium.

“Open mic night was the first event we did when we brought the group back and it kind of became our staple at Point Park,” Moore said. “I really like how BSU feels like family every time we meet,” said Moore.

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