Black Collegians celebrates end of Black History Month
Santa Monica College's Black Collegians held a celebration of Black History Month during the student activity hour last Thursday.
The event was organized in honor of club member Tijera Rencher's grandmother, Mary Shy, who was a strong advocate for social issues.
Rencher felt that her grandmother was a strong leader who deserved to be recognized.
"She fought for rights in her community and was the voice of her community," Rencher said.
The event, which included several guest performers, was opened with a song by club representative Jagaite Packford and was followed by a spoken word piece on the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela written by club member Lucy Mesure.
After Mesure's piece, the quad was treated to rap performances by Jermond "Set" Davis and Damon "Real8" Turner.
Black Collegians president Tekoah Flory saw the event as a chance for students to celebrate their ancestry as well as commemorate black history.
"We would not have access to our education if it weren't for the folks in the Civil Rights Movement," Flory said. "We would not have access to the same tools as people who are not of color."
Black Collegians member Sabrina Boyse wanted students of all races to become aware of black history.
"This was a celebration of black history. This event was simply to recognize and commemorate our past and the importance of it and how people in the past can show us how to be successful in the future. For everyone, not just us," Boyse said.
Turner, who claims to be the ninth generational grandson of slave rebellion leader Nat Turner, said his message was one of love.
"Not to sound [like I have an] ego or cocky but that's the message, it's about love," Turner said.
As the event drew to a close with open dancing, Rencher took a moment to reflect on the woman for whom the event was organized.
"It takes you far to be a sweet person and that was what she was trying to get everybody to do," Rencher said of her grandmother. "To always care about other people before yourself."