Written by Jessica Flores, Treasurer
What do you think of when you hear the word queen?
On February 20, the African American Council of Women enlightened their guests for their third Annual Variety Show and redefined the term Queen from an African American women’s point of view. With a touch of comedy and tears of passion, it is safe to say that the show was once again, an amazing turnout.
Guests were welcomed with traditional soul food and portraits of Queens surrounding the campus center: Misty Copeland, Toni Morrison, Coretta Scott King, and Ava DuVerynay, to name a few.
Before the show began, student Amber Holt initiated the Black National Anthem.
The story opened with the two narrators, students Sidney Williams and Cierra Black, who played a mother and daughter. The daughter expressed how confused she was by the term queen and of all the black women historical figures that are not taught in schools. Her mother began to teach her about a few people who played a vital role in black history.
The performances consisted of songs, student-written poems, a Shirley Chisholm monologue, an African dance, a Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter presentation, and a documentary filmed by a student which all portrayed the core of the African American woman–all in different forms of art.
Alicia Frison, a UCLA student and friend of AACW, performed a self-written speech in the shoes of Shirley Chisholm- the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate who represented New York. “Don’t you ever let the phrase unconstitutional fear you. We must fight for everyone in this room. From today and for on, as long as we fight, we will be unbought and unbossed,” she said during her speech–raising her hand fearlessly.
Alicia felt “very enraged” during her speech. “I was really in tune [with] what is going on today. I had to put [myself] in [Shirley’s] shoes. It was hard.”
Among the many performances, one that brought guests to tears (including myself) was the Black Lives Matter presentation. Sydnei Jones, president of AACW, sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” projecting a very soft and soothing voice. Student On’Jonet Williams performed her powerful poem “I Don’t Care If People Die,” accompanied by footage showing daunting images of oppressed black people.
On’Jonet’s poem focused on the unconcerned attitude society has of people dying. It was emotional to watch, yet refreshing as Sydnei sang the lyrics “It’s been a long time coming but I know a change is gonna come” repeatedly.
Sydnei’s guests left the show believing, “Before you can change the world, change yourself.” Now let me ask you this: how will you change the world? Leave comments below.