This year, United Black Students (UBS) added an unusual twist to their annual Black Awareness Month (BAM) fashion show. The focus of Friday’s show was to educate spectators on black history through multiple forms of entertainment. Using poetry, dance and historical facts, BAM showcased fashion from different time periods and different parts of the country.
“It’s a learning experience of black history and black culture,” said Dara Collins, chair of Black Awareness Month.
Many African Americans use fashion as a way to express themselves and display individuality. In addition to the latest trends and designers, hairstyles are also considered fashion in the black community.
“To style your hair is basically you speaking up and saying ‘this is who I am,’” model Janell Barnes said.
As the last informal event of Black Awareness Month, this year’s show presented a diverse collection of fashion genres in cities, ranging from the flavors and styles of sassy Miami, crunk Atlanta and bold New Orleans to the classy chic New York and swagged-out Los Angeles.
The fashion show, titled Strut through Time as Fashion Rewinds, was the BAM event with the highest turnout. The event gave the audience a taste of different cultures and a serving of black entertainmers who discussed facts about black history through a cappella renditions, technical dancing and literature during intermissions.
Freshman Gladia Jean-Louis was overwhelmed with positive energy regarding BAM’s message.
“I feel like we’re trying to show a positive example of African-American culture- to show how we’ve evolved as a people,” Jean-Louis said. “I love how the show overall aimed at representing the positivity of black people as we are today; it’s bittersweet now that the show is over, but I feel like we pulled it off .”
Tamara Taylor, BAM fashion show co-chair, choreographer and dancer, set out to prove that black cultural fashion and education could be intertwined to cultivate a successful event.
“Mainly as a committee we hoped to spark awareness of the prominence of black culture today,” Taylor said. “This year the audience was taken on a journey. Every scene had a black history fact and performance which connected to the fashion and city that were represented.”
The significance of black culture campus events such as BAM’s annual February fashion show is inevitable, as African-American students strive to enrich their presence throughout the semester.
“Essentially, it basically boils down to this- if we don’t celebrate and represent our Black History Month then who else will celebrate for us?” UBS President Courtney Cross- Johnson said.
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