by VERNA GIBSON
BSU held their first Apollo Night on Friday, a change from their usual Thursday night juke joints. Students rapped, sang and performed spoken word as usual, but there were three judges who gave each act feedback after each performance. The performers were accompanied by a live band and the event was held in Hoff Theater instead of Nyumburu. The judges were UMD alums Damien Pinkett, ’13, Jewell Briscoe and Wendell “DJ” Alston, both from the class of 2014.
The change was well received.
“I think it was really nice BSU was able to put on an Apollo Night showcase, ” said Erica Williams, a senior supply management and economics double major.
Williams said she preferred the Apollo Night over juke joints because, “it was more structured and gave people the opportunity to have their family and friends come at as opposed to just having students. I thought it was a lot nicer in terms of support level.”
Shahrazad Hired, a sophomore government and politics major, said
“It was a great way to reinforce black history during black history month.”
Hired is a member of the African Student Association, ASA, and said she came to show support for other black organizations.
Apollo Night gave the audience the option to express their opinions by waving glowsticks if they didn’t like the performance after the first 30 seconds, unlike juke joints, where the audience voices their disinterest by talking over the performer. That behavior is normally discouraged by the hosts at juke joint. Allowing people to share their opinion became popular throughout the night.
After the first part of one student’s performance, glowsticks went up around the theater with some people even running around the theater waving theirs in the air. A few audience members went even further by throwing their glowsticks at the stage.
Kawan Glover, a junior finance major, felt the event lacked energy.
“Everybody wasn’t up and excited people; had to be called to attention to get excited.”
Pulsefeedz’s own Jessie Karangu was at Apollo Night and captured the event