Student Stars Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance Shine at Starlight Art Night

On Saturday, February 24th, 2018, over 100 students, faculty, and guests gathered in the City Room at The King’s College for the second annual Starlight Art Night. The event celebrated Black History Month with encounter art inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and The Great Migration.

Starlight Art Night began last year, under The Table’s leadership of Tatiana Lanier, Angel Boyd, Enoma Osakue, Taylor Johnson, and Koby Jackson. This year, the Table partnered with the Troubadour Magazine and the Council Events Committee to organize and host the event.

“The Table wants to give a space to minority students to feel welcome, a space to talk, as well as bring minority issues and minority culture to King’s as a whole. I think StarLight Art Night is a big venue to show the whole school minority art and black history art,” said Jackson, MC and former vice-president of The Table.

With over 18 performers, some of whom were minority students and some whom were not, the showcase additionally offered an array of snacks, gift giveaways, and string lights covering the venue. The show began with students Noah Pickett, Sydney Watson, Shakuri Amarachukwu and Abbey Jasmine Rose singing acapella to “Lift Every Voice and Sing," a poem by James Weldon Johnson and put to music by J. Rosamond Johnson. Performances included a poetry reading from Langston Hughes, a choreographed dance inspired by a Jacob Lawrence painting, and an acoustic mashup of Louis Armstrong and Otis Redding classics.

“Starlight Art Night is an amazing opportunity for everyone at King’s to engage with something they wouldn’t otherwise be engaging in,” said Watson after her performance. “I know how easy it it not to because so many people are not a part of this culture. It’s really easy not to have to be a part of this culture.”

Watson added that it was good to see the turn out and engagement of people “welcoming this into their reservoir of knowledge and into their hearts.”

“Hopefully this will inspire everyone to think of other people groups more.”

This event has showcased King’s talent, exposed the community to the brilliance of minority art, and has taken strides to encourage students to engage in cultures different than their own.

“I think the show went great. It’s always the best event of the year. Everyone had fun and did great honor to those who have passed,” Rose said.

A previous version of this article stated that "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was a poem by J. Rosamond Johnson. It has been corrected to say that the poem was written by James Weldon Johnson, and it was put to music by J. Rosamond Johnson