Mike Bonanni, Staff Writer
On Sunday February 26, Hunt Union was host to a Black History and Diversity celebration in honor of Black History Month. The night featured a variety of acts, as well as videos highlighting African-American success and culture, and diversity.
The show started with a video of Will Smith in various interviews giving anecdotes and pieces of wisdom from past accomplishments. Another video presentation over the course of the night was the introduction to the movie “The Pact,” based on the book of the same name. The book is about the real life story of three African-American kids in a poor Newark, New Jersey neighborhood who fulfilled their pact to become doctors against all odds.
As the first African-American president, Barack Obama was featured in one video that highlighted his presidential success. He was also featured at the end of the last video, which showcased the many important figures in black history in a timeline. It included the most famous activists like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman, but also celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and astronauts like Mae Jemison.
Accompanying the video presentations were vocal performances by Oneonta students. There were also slam poetry performances by two members of the Oneonta slam poetry team, Mary Anne Rojas and Vanessa Perillo.
Two of the biggest moments of the night came from the World Percussion Ensemble and the Oneonta step team, Frequency, who also made this event possible. Both put on energetic displays of music and dance utilizing their own unique methods. The World Percussion Ensemble. showed off some traditional African dance to the accompaniment of African drums and percussion, while the step team showed off their skills using dance to create music through stomps and claps.
Shavaughn Stewart, a senior and member of Frequency, was the host for the night. She said the event has been in the works since last semester. Their hope was to not only to promote the step team, but also “to inform people of different opportunities and celebrate black history as well as the culture,” said Stewart. Though she will be leaving Oneonta this year, she hopes they will continue to do well in future dance endeavors.