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Music, art, dance: the Black Student Union organizes the Soul Café every year

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The Kansas Black Student Union hosted its annual Soul Caf in honor of Black History Month at the Grand Ballroom on Friday night. (Lexi Garcia | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State Black Student Union hosted its annual Soul Café in honor of Black History Month in the K-State Student Union Grand Ballroom on Friday night.

With the social distancing, tables spread out, and masks required, the Soul Café opened, showcasing the talent of black K-State students. The performances offered a unique perspective of black culture.

On each table was the name of a prominent black musician. Everyone had to find a powerful word and share it either by singing it or saying it out loud.

Fashion was another aspect of the night, with a photo background provided. People dressed to impress – girls wearing mink coats, leather pants and animal prints, and guys in overcoats, designer clothes and glasses as the finishing touches.

The evening also included a fashion contest with two winners receiving a Starbucks or Buffalo Wild Wings gift card.

Second-year life sciences student Malik Jenkins and senior marketing Jeffrey Mathews Jr. introduced themselves as the MCs of the night. Then it was directly in the first performance.

Brad Richards, senior in economics, has performed oral poetry, including an original poem on racial injustice called “College Assignments”.

“So it’s crazy, because they’re killing us, but when will it end?” Richards said. “I checked the news. Someone who looked like me got shot by a cop.

Amaya Molinar, a second year Biological Systems Engineering student, was one of the two instrumentalists on the night. The crowd sang songs like “Power Trip” by J Cole, “Can You Stand the Rain” by Boys 2 Men’s, “Can We Talk” by Tevin Campbell and The Boondocks outro while she was playing the instrumental on her flute.

Alyssa Byers, a sophomore applied music student, played her guitar on Summer Walker’s moving song “Session 32”.

The intermission came and dinner was served by July’s Kitchen Food Truck and Catering, a local vendor specializing in American soul food. The performance continued after the meal.

Kansas City artist DJ Sanders, a sophomore marketing student, was one of the major performances of the night.

This was Sanders’ second time performing at Soul Café, this time with one of his unreleased songs, an R&B style song about being with a woman stuck in a bad relationship.

“It was cool,” Sanders said. “I’m never really nervous playing in a long time since I’ve been doing it. It’s kinda natural for me, but it’s been a while since I last played, so I was a little nervous.

The evening ended with the K-State Poize Hip-Hop Dance Team performing routines to songs by Britney Spears and Ella Mai. The three women wore matching outfits of jeans, black T-shirts and black masks.

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