BLAC Showcase: Recap


Last Saturday, February 20th, the Black Liberation Affairs Committee (BLAC) produced a Talent Showcase as a part of its Black History Month program of events. Emceed by BLAC co-hairs Myhana Kerr ’17 and Ryan Harris ’17, the showcase featured dance, song and music from students, staff and faculty. We were lucky enough to speak with co-chair Kerr about the process behind the event and some stand-out moments.


TMW: What did it mean to you both to emcee this event?

MK: To me, it seems odd to be a Co-Chair of BLAC and BHM (Black History Month Planning Committee) and not be in the showcase in some way, shape or form. So with this being said, being one of the emcees meant that I could help shape the event into what I want people to think of Black History Month at Macalester. As a host, I feel like I’m helping to continue a legacy of Black students here at Macalester, which is a role that I’m proudly walking into.

How would you describe the energy in the room?

In one word, I would describe the energy in the room as being hype. I could definitely feel that not everyone knew what to expect, but by having friends or fellow classmates, and maybe even hearing about the event from people who attended last year lent itself to a wonderfully exciting feeling of hyped expectation for the show.

What was the process like in terms of organization? How were performances determined?

The showcase is definitely one of the bigger planning projects that we have to tackle because there are so many people involved. In order to pick performers, we reviewed last year’s list back in late December/early January and asked those groups if they wanted to perform again. Then as February approached, it definitely helped going up to groups who we thought might be interested in performing. Having a different leadership base also opened up our list of potential performers as well. We were able to have this year’s Funkathon winners, Kingdom Roots, participate as well as the Black Women of the Diaspora (BWOD) Identity Collective. And naturally, our wonderful returners, Zabumba, Sister Patricia and her wonderful choreography, and Demetrius’ awe-inspiring voice.


Were there any particularly resonant moments or you?

The entire night went by as an excited blur, but as a whole, my favorite parts occurred while the performances were going on with my fellow Co-Chair Ryan Harris. Ryan was abroad last semester and to say I missed him would be an understatement. We hosted the Showcase last year and this year felt pleasantly nostalgic because we were jamming out in the front row and semi-frantically figuring out who would go up and introduce the next act.
Overall, I loved seeing how energetically the crowd received the performers. During each of the performances, I would look back into the crowd and see everyone having a wonderful time. In those moments, it reassured me that the work I’m doing with these student organizations, BLAC and BHM, that they’re totally worth it and needed on this campus.

Final thoughts?

None of events this month would have been possible without Dubie Toa-Kwapong, Ryan Harris, Akila Copeland, Demetrius Colvin, Karla Benson Rutten and numerous other faculty, staff and students in the Macalester community that have supported, encouraged, and been a part of this process in varying degrees. So I would like to thank all of them and encourage others in the Mac community to get involved! We’re always looking for people to be a part of these student organizations. So please, if you’re interested, reach out to myself or send an email over to [email protected] to be added to our mailing list and be kept up to date on our events; we also have a Facebook page!