BSU pays tribute to MLK

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BSU pays tribute to MLK

Freshman musical theatre major Reina Guerra performs an interpretive dance routine.

Freshman musical theatre major Reina Guerra performs an interpretive dance routine.

Photo by Raffaele DiLullo

Freshman musical theatre major Reina Guerra performs an interpretive dance routine.

Photo by Raffaele DiLullo

Photo by Raffaele DiLullo

Freshman musical theatre major Reina Guerra performs an interpretive dance routine.

Written By Robert Berger, Co-News Editor

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A near standing room only crowd filled the JVH auditorium Monday night as students performed spoken word pieces, song and dance routines and monologues in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Hosted by Point Park’s Black Student Union (BSU) organization, “True Colors” gave students from the Conservatory of Performing Arts (COPA) a chance to let their voices be heard. Senior acting major and BSU President Aniya Thomas helped arrange the evening and had the idea for each performer to wear a different color, symbolizing aspects of African-American history.

“I think it’s very important [for BSU to exist] because we have so much power and a platform to use our voices,” Thomas said. “To reach other people, and not just our race with positivity hope and joy is very important.”

On Monday, Thomas performed a monologue from “The Queen and the Rebels.” The audience gave their undivided attention to Thomas and her emotional performance.

“It was a piece that demands respect,” Thomas said. “She notices she is naked to the world that is judging her, but she notices she is more than that and demands that she is the Queen and demands respect.”

Also performing a spoken word piece was freshman acting major Mia Sterbini as she walked the crowd through African-American history.

“It went from slavery to the 60s with the Civil Rights movement and at the end I talk about what happened before, like the kings, queens and African dynasties,” Sterbini said. “My main message is that we didn’t start with slavery and we don’t have to end there.”

Sophomore cinema production major, Lauren Killian, also performed an original spoken word piece. Covering topics such as gang wars, police brutality and African-American heritage, he stressed the pain families face when losing a loved one on the street– all while wearing the color grey symbolizing the light of the world, he told the crowd after performing.

Outside of BSU, Killian enjoys competing in spoken word competitions.

“I think there is power in our words and our words have created power…when I started spoken word I wanted to encourage people,” Killian said in an interview afterwards. “I think if we all knew each other’s secrets and struggles we would all be much more comfortable around each other.”

A dectet of BSU members performed a number of choir routines throughout the night as well, many of them encouraging audience members to clap along with them. Freshman musical theatre major Nia Bourne was a member of the chorus.

“We rehearsed twice outside of Monday’s dress rehearsal for a few hours,” Bourne said.  “It wasn’t too hard because we knew the songs beforehand, so we just had to familiarize ourselves with lyrics mostly.”

Freshman acting major Eva Linder attended “True Colors” to watch her fellow classmates. For her, the final chorus performance stood out to her the most.

“The ending was very emotional and it felt very empowering with how they brought everybody out on stage,” Linder said.

For Thomas, she was speechless when speaking about attendance afterwards.

“When people know that you are doing something for the greater good, people are willing and love to be a part of something,” Thomas said.

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