The second annual “BLACKOUT” event, hosted by the African American Student Union and Black Womyn’s Association, brought minorities together for a welcome back barbecue social on Sept. 17.
The Staller Steps vibrated with mixes by DJ Manny O, a close friend of members of the ASU, who DJed the event last year.
The event officially kicked off at 4 p.m. Students danced together on the green grass of the steps into the night until the event’s gradual end at 9 p.m.
“It’s just to have fun and promote our culture,” Raven Brown, Black Womyn’s Association president and junior psychology major, said. “We’re showing what we like, what kind of foods we like, what kind of dances, all sorts of performances.”
Burgers, wings, popcorn, cookies, empanadas and more were freely offered to students drawn in by the music-filled event.
If free food and music were not enough to draw in attendees, performances by the ASU’s LeAfrique Dance Team, Cadence Step Team and the Stony Brook Belly Dancing Club were scheduled to showcase their skills. The performances were a hit and everyone loved them, according to Dammy Martins, ASU president and senior health science major.
Martins added that more students attended the event this year than last. Rainy weather last year affected the event’s turnout, but that was not an issue this year.
Songs by African and Caribbean artists played throughout the night. Students standing or sitting were compelled by the rhythms to move their bodies. Martins was so drawn to the beats that she paused an interview to dance for a Snapchat.
Those who attended the event were often seen pulling out their phones to record a Snapchat video dancing to the music or singing along to their favorite songs. A few swipes to the right in the Snapchat app revealed a “ASU x BWA Presents… BLACKOUT2” geotag.
ASU and BWA are both organizations that are centered around inclusion, education and unity among students of all cultures. This shared purpose made them a great match to collaborate on “BLACKOUT.”
“It’s a cultural event designed to bring out different underrepresented people or minorities just to educate and spread our cultures,” Brown said.
The event was a success, Martins said, and several students who attended the event shared similar feelings.
“I didn’t know there were people my color here so it’s cool to see I have brothers and sisters here,” Dana Joseph, a junior social work major who recently transferred to Stony Brook, said. “It’s nice to see a lot of minorities come together.”
FEATURE IMAGE COURTESY OF BLACK WOMYN’S ASSOCIATION