The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) put on its “Black Experience Tribute: The Greatest, A Women’s History Showcase” event at Memorial Auditorium on Friday.
The theme of the event revolved around the celebration and empowerment of women. The D.I.V.A.S. of MSA made up many of the performers in the event.
The event featured students dressing up in costumes and dancing as a tribute to women like Laila Ali and Beyoncé, the singing of Etta James’ “At Last,” poetry and the lip syncing of many popular songs.
MSA also composed a video montage that celebrated several important women in history, such as Maya Angelou, Dorothy Dandridge, Michelle Obama and Shippensburg University’s president, Laurie Carter.
Desiree Sourbeer, a senior psychology major, was mistress of ceremonies for the evening.
“We just wanted to showcase women and how great they are, and some of the greatest women that we have seen throughout time,” Sourbeer said.
The event was supposed to be held earlier in March, but it was postponed because of the weather.
“[The postponement] gave us extra time,” Sourbeer said. “We were able to continue to grow [the event] and mold it into what we wanted it to be.”
Aris Hudson and SU alumna, Dennise Hill, read their poetry during the night. One of their poems focused on discrimination and violence against young African-Americans.
“At least in the country they hunt animals, here in the city it’s open season on young black boys,” Hill said.
The two involved the audience by picking out four freshmen from the crowd and inviting them onstage. The freshmen had to give three adjectives to describe how great women are.
“Beautiful, powerful and talented,” one student said.
Another segment in the event featured the lip-syncing of songs by many “old school” and “new school” musicians like Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and Nicki Minaj, to name a few. The crowd danced and cheered along to the student performers.
To end the show, most of the performers came onstage to Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” to end the show. One of these performers was sophomore Tatyana Marable.
“[We wanted to] show them a different aspect of women than what we see on a regular basis,” she said.
For Marable, the unity of the performers made for an easygoing experience in preparation for the event.
“It feels really good to see everybody come together,” she said. “There was no bickering, no problems, it was just all excitement and fun.”