A roaring crowd of FSU students filled DPAC on Saturday, April 30. Students were clapping, screaming and twirling their culture flags along to their favorite performances.
The hosts were Cassandra Teneus, president of the Black Student Union (BSU), and Steven Lamisere. Wanting to make the show interactive for the students, Teneus and Lamisere shared their Snapchat handles, along with those of some performers, to allow the audience to tune in to the action backstage.
The show kicked off with the duo of Mighty and Moe, a group from Boston. Mighty sang his own personal lyrics to known popular songs that Moe DJ-ed from the back. They were followed by FSU students, who did a variety of cultural performances.
The show had multiple cultures involved performing vocal pieces and different cultural dances. The dancing pieces included belly dancing, passadas and traditional Haitian dances.
Late in the show, BSU took the stage. Each member had the opportunity to step up to the microphone and reject the stereotypes many black students have been subjected to. Teneus took the stage and made a speech about the pride she holds for her culture.
This was the first year Teneus organized this BSU event and all members were pleased with its success.
Performer and sophomore Zae Valera said, “It was amazing … It was really, really, really good, better than previous years.”
The show was an opportunity for any FSU student to show their culture to their peers and be proud of where they came from.
“We put on the culture show to support every student who comes from different … backgrounds to express their culture and to showcase it proudly without any reservations. This is kind of the one time where we all get to really express our differences and to enjoy it and to teach people about our culture, so it makes us proud,” Teneus said.
The goal of the show was to allow individuals to show that they have not lost touch with their original homes and take pride in them, or in Teneus’ words, “We are Americanized, but we are still our culture.”
The event was closed by a group from Fitchburg State University called Kalue.
Sophomore Amber Jimenez said, “I really loved the event. I loved the atmosphere, I loved the performers. Everyone who performed was amazingly talented. Everyone is so proud of their culture and where they came from and it honestly made me feel so much more comfortable in my own skin seeing that. I look forward to seeing it again in the future.”
Sophomore Kathleen Schipellti said, “The culture show was one of the best events I have ever attended on campus. It brought together such a diverse group of people, and you could really see how proud the performers were of their culture. My favorite part was the ending when everyone rejected the stereotypes brought on by mainstream media. It was definitely a powerful message and was moving to see.”