First Black History Month Showcase makes history


photo by Levi Cal Rivera

Senior Jamason Belgrave dances passionately as one of the first acts in the Black Student Union’s first inaugural Black History Month showcase. The event is the first of its kind held by the organization.

As the audience gathered for the inaugural Black History Month Showcase, they were unaware of what to expect. Then senior Jamason Belgrave started the show, performing a powerful dance routine to “Glory” from the soundtrack for the movie “Selma.”

“The dance I performed was two years in the making from my choreography at my dance studio, which [was] so important to me,” Belgrave said.

On Feb. 28, the Black Student Union held the showcase, featuring acts from members of the cabinet and other students. The showcase was one of the first events for the newly-formed club. As the very first event of its kind, organizers expressed pride in the significant progress made. 

“It is refreshing to see that the HHS and Oviedo community are able to see some of the great and positive things we are doing here,” club sponsor Reggie Miller said.

Planning for the event began in late November with the goal of continuity and representation.

“I wanted it to be not perfect—I knew what we could do, and I just wanted to execute that,” BSU president and founder Ciara Bibbs said.

The night began with the singing of the Black National Anthem by the cabinet, where crowd members were encouraged to sing along. From then, a series of poetry readings, songs and dances followed, finishing with a step show by the Epsilon Eta chapter of the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity of the University of Central Florida to wrap the night up.

Towards the end, I had that little moment of reflection where I was just like, ‘We did it.’

— BSU president and founder Ciara Bibbs

Briefly after intermission, the “Through the Decades” fashion show began. Consisting of several styles in the Black community that ranged from the 1950s to present day, Fashion Club secretary and BSU member Misa Gibbs directed the show. 

“I’m someone who’s been big on fashion for a long time, so when they asked me if I wanted to do a fashion show, I was ready to take it on,” Gibbs said.

The event partnered with other organizations on campus such as Gay-Straight Alliance, Hispanic Student Union, Girl Up, Fashion Club and outside organizations, like Oviedo Citizens in Action, that helped support the gift card giveaway raffle through the night. Though the turnout for the event was not what the president expected, some staff members and other club sponsors showed up to express their support.

“I think I cried three times. It was so great to see some of my students who might be quieter in the classroom just out there living their passion,” Girl Up sponsor Julie Duncan said.

After a touching performance with her sister, Bibbs ended the night with a teary-eyed speech, thanking all who were involved and those that came to support the event. 

“Towards the end, I had that little moment of reflection where I was just like, ‘We did it,’” Bibbs said.