Black Student Union celebrates Black History Month


Watch The Wolf on Wall Street, and you might learn about the stock market; play Monopoly, and you might learn the value of money; listen to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” [sic], and you might gain insight on police brutality against young, black males.

Point is: When education is intertwined with entertainment, there’s a greater chance of catching the lesson. Just ask the leaders of the University of Iowa’s Black Student Union.

At 6 p.m. today in the IMU Second-Floor Ballroom, the group’s second showcase will highlight talents across campus while reminding the audience that it is Black History Month.

“We told our MCs, ‘We want you to talk about black history throughout the show,’ ” said organization President Bryan Porter. “We don’t care how gritty or how nasty the history is, people need to know it.”

This year’s show has shifted away from family-friendly a bit, Porter said, out of a desire to make the showcase a bit “edgier.”

“This year, we’re really pushing the envelope, and we’re making this for college students,” he said. “There aren’t any restrictions on the music the DJ will play. There aren’t any restrictions on the creativity of our performers or the creativity of our MCs. As far as vulgarity, we let them have free range.”

Eight performers will take the stage with a time limit of eight minutes. Audiences can look forward to performances involving music, poetry, dance, and more.

Click here to check out a photo slideshow.

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“There’s so much talent on this campus, and it just sucks when I talk to people, and they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, I sing a cappella, I do this, I do that,’ and I’m like, ‘Why didn’t you come to the talent show,’ ” Porter said. “These are opportunities to showcase what you love doing, and if you’re really good at it, you might win something for it.”

Despite wanting to increase recognition of the student organization, Porter said officials refused many offers of collaboration on the showcase when planning began last May.

“We’re trying to make it a tradition where [the union] did this by ourselves when we literally had nothing, and we’re just going to keep making it bigger and bigger,” Porter said.

This year’s show will be even better than last year’s, he said, from the performances to the prizes to the after-show surprise.

“I wish other people could share the experience, share the beauty, bask in the black excellence,” Porter said. “It’s just something everyone should take note of, to see, to witness, even if you’re not black.”
Black Student Union showcase
When: 6 p.m. today
Where: IMU Second-Floor Ballroom

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