Silver City, NM- On Wednesday, February 7, The Center for Gender Equity and Social Justice brought back their annual Black Lives Matter event, with several talented students performing in a talent show.
Among the event highlights were Zac Taylor reading a poem from the great Maya Angelou, a rap verse by Jesus Garcia and the famed Mariachi Plata performing a melody of songs inspired African sounds. Ross White enraptured the audience with a medley of “Fast Car” by Chasey Chatman, “All of Me” by John Legend, “Where is the Love” by The Black Eyed Peas, and finished with a part of We Are the World.
When asked why he chose those songs, Ross said, “These are songs that are emotional to me, and I feel songs that are emotional can bring people together.”
A performance from one student gave the event a bit of an awkward stumble when they shouted “all lives matter” to the assembled crowd. However, the statement ultimately segued nicely into a statement read by Rodney Lawson, a WNMU student and member of the Black Student Union.
The quietly powerful reading spoke of the dehumanization of Africans that were taken as slaves and sold as property, and criticized the idea of “all lives” mattering when not all of them have had to fight to matter.
When The Mustang spoke with Rodney, he explained, “I feel like a statement would be better because my voice has power behind it.” When Rodney got on stage and started talking, the whole crowd when silent and was entranced by his voice. One audience member, Kendra Milligan, was brought to tears by his reading.
In the end, Jesus Garcia got third place, winning $25, Ross was placed second, winning $50, and Rodney won first place, receiving the grand prize of $150.
Once the event concluded, wings and assorted vegetables were provided for attendees.