During a moving performance last week, a student stood on the stage in the Roost and began to reenact a horrific aspect of American history. He handed out “color” cards to classify the human beings in front of him based on the color of their skin. A wide spectrum of emotions emerged from the actresses and actors who received the cards. The eyes, the postures, and the gestures of the oppressed revealed hopelessness and pain, which eventually gave way to anger and courage as the actors expressed the need to stand up for the rights of a people. By the end of the act, the audience was on its feet in applause.
The performance, the culmination of five months of planning by the BSU, led by Maya Washington-Zeigler ’15 and Tempestt Williams ’15, was part of the “Black Rhythms” event, organized by the Black Student Union to close Black History Month. The event wasn’t all about history, it was filled with poetry readings, other reenactments, songs, and dance, including a performance by the Denison Dazzlers dance troupe.