CSUN Professors Celebrate Black History Month With “After Hours” Performance
Excitement filled the the Grand Salon in the University Student Union on Friday as members from the Department of Africana Studies and the Black Alumni Association came together to entertain the students of CSUN with their many talents in a performance they referred to as “After Hours”.
The After Hours showcase brought forth CSUN professors and alumni to celebrate Black History Month in a way that allowed students to see a different side to their professors and for their professors to get to show off their unique talents.
Black Alumni Association, Executive Council member, Gigi Mcguire, first addressed the crowd by explaining a little bit about the Association.
According to Gigi Mcguire, executive council member of the Black Alumni Association, the organization is made up of past African American CSUN Alumni and is designed with the intention to act as a mentoring community for graduating African American CSUN students.
The Association’s mentoring system supports young students to prepare them for success in finding a career after graduation. The Association also celebrates African heritage and Africana Studies.
Dr. Cedric Hackett, Assistant Professor in Africana Studies and member of the Black Alumni Association, kicked off the night by performing a rap about living life to the fullest and working all day and night.
Hackett’s second rap focused on themes about being “black and bold” and “going hard for the masses.” As his performance concluded, the crowd began chanting “black lives matter.”
In between performances, Fabian Chaves, a jazz studies student, entertained the crowed with multiple songs on the saxophone.
Assistant Professor in Africana Studies, Dr. Aimee Glocke, did a ballet performance to a Billy Porter song entitled “I’m Not My Father’s Son”.
Glocke has studied ballet, African, jazz, tap, pointe, modern, hip-hop, Dunham Technique and Umfundalai. She has also trained at Numerous Broadway Dance Centers, such as the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Edge Performing Arts Center.
Professor James Henry, Adjunct Faculty in Africana Studies and Academic Advisor in the Advising Resource Center, concluded the night by sharing some of his background of being in a Black Fraternity and his involvement in being part of a team that had obtained the title of National Step Champions.
Henry began to show off his talent of step-dancing with a basic move that he referred to as the “BJ”. This African tradition tribe step form of dancing includes a combination of stomps, claps, shouts, and quick jolting movements.
Also included in his performance, Henry performed a poem entitled “Invictus”, by William Ernest Henley. The poem included motivational lines such as, “ I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” The poem ended up having the crowd clapping along in agreement.
Henry concluded the evening with words of advice for the attending CSUN students, telling them to join communities, fraternities, sororities, and clubs. To be part of something bigger then themselves, something that is going to further their personal lives and the lives of those that they surround themselves with.
Henry ended the event by reciting a rap, entitled “Red, Black and Green”, in honor of the African flag during this Black History Month.
Written by Kathleen Johnson