Brilliantly colorful, powerful and empowered, African and Caribbean Night brought light, hope and power to a chilly Saturday night.
Held by Karibu, a student organization created to strengthen the African and Caribbean community on campus, the night was full of song, dance, spoken word and celebration of culture. The energy was infectious as the crowd cheered on their fellow students and friends. Personally, I nearly lost my voice, and my face hurt from smiling so much.
There is something about watching people putting their all into a song, a dance, a poem that is so beautiful. Watching people celebrate their cultural differences and be so passionate about something they love so much is inspiring.
The community aspect was clear as students from St. Thomas, Macalester, Carleton and St. Kate’s came to watch and cheer on the performers.
The Carleton College African Caribbean Association joined the show and performed a dance that was lively and created a community between the neighboring schools
The night started off strong with a performance with the St. Olaf Gospel Choir as well as an introduction to a skit that tied together each act. The skit was as engaging and entertaining as each performance. Focusing on a royal family and succession, it brought humor and emotion, engaging the audience as performers prepared for the next act.
The bacchanal dance was one of my personal favorites. Bursting with energy, each dancer brought their own flare and came together to perform a dance worth cheering for. It was one of the most memorable performances of the night.
The poetry throughout the program was beautiful and even when the poems were in a different language, the entire venue felt the emotion. Mary Maker ’23 delivered an oral narrative that was so powerful it gave me chills. The crowd hung onto every word of every song.
Nakunda Mshana ’22, Melie Ekunno ’21 and Lerato Mensah-Aborampah ’22 performed “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo, a song about hope for the future. Their voices blended together and the crowd was in awe of the lyrics and the voices that sang them.
The night ended with a fashion show. Pairs of students strutted down the aisle, dancing and celebrating their very successful night. The crowd hollered and warmth and joy filled the Pause. Full of energy and passion, the night created a celebratory and vibrant place unlike anything else on campus.