Black 82 kicks off with opening performance

February 22, 2023


Junior Jade Chance sings ‘Lift Me Up’ by Rihanna during the Black 82 opening event. Photo by Anjel-Ali Ormond.

On Feb. 2, Black 82, a committee that organizes and annually holds events for Virginia State students throughout Feb. for Black History Month, kicked off the events with an opening show. The show consisted of talent show-style performances featuring different student organizations, performers, and artists.

This year marks the 7th year Black 82 events were held on campus. Many students look forward to the events, like the opening, each year because it gives them the opportunity to be in the spotlight.

“I came to an HBCU for things like this,” said Sydney Francis of Urban Couture. “I finally get to perform & show myself. Black 82 allowed that platform.”

During the opening, there were dance performances from the African Students Association, the Caribbean Students Association, Urban Couture, and more. There was also spoken word, a hip-hop cipher, dance battles, and a performance of black-TV theme songs by the Gospel Chorale.

“For this to be my first performance, I feel very welcomed & ready for the future,” said freshman Taylor Francis, a VSU Gospel Chorale singer, and performer. “Black 82 is a good thing to involve everybody; our performance is upbeat with crowd participation. It’s definitely something special, especially to pay tribute to our ancestors and bring old to the new.”

John Poitier, a freshman Biology major, won the Black 82 poetry contest, which the Black 82 committee announced at the opening. Students and faculty also received NAACP awards.

Black 82 events go on throughout Feb. To see the rest of the events for Feb., students can view @vsu_student_activities on Instagram or the event calendars posted throughout campus.

“This is a place where we can express who we are, especially for Black History Month,” Criminal Justice major Ditu Kasuyi II said. “With the month being so small, I feel like we should make use of each day that is composed of Black History. Everything is done to make sure this program succeeds.”

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