The coffeehouse was hosted by the Black Student Association for students to express themselves on stage through song, dance and poetry and to showcase to their peers.
The unifying Flashback Friday theme was inspired by the idea of growing during a time when black history was beginning to take a leap in music and television shows.
During the ’90s, people began to see African-American families on television. Shows such as “The Cosby Show” and “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and artists such as TLC, Nas, Tupac and Biggie Smalls gained popularity with viewers with various ethnic backgrounds and cultures.
“We choose ’90s because it is a time that we can all relate to. We have a lot of people that grew up in during the ’90s,” said senior social work major Lauren McNair, BSA president. “I want students to know even though the event is called Black Student Association Expressions, this is a place for me whether I am a Latino student, Asian student or a white student.”
The night kicked off with spoken word and transitioned into singing throwback songs such as “Weak” by SWV, the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song and other ’90s medley songs. The performances ranged from African and praise dancing to miming. In total there were 27 performances.
Sophomore economics major Kerryanne John performed a tap dance and said that it was her first time performing for BSA coffeehouse expressions.
“I [tap danced] from age 3 to 14, [and] I love dance and wanted to be able to express it,” John said.
The night continued as other students performed in front of their peers. Sophomore communication studies major Sofia Figueroa said she was nervous about showcasing her contemporary dance routine.
“I feel like the dance floor is a place where I can put my heart completely on the floor and praise God,” Figueroa said.
The crowd screamed and cheered when APU’s VFO and UMOJA Step Team took the stage for separate performances. The teams performed in colorful and printed clothing to a medley of ’90s songs.
The night was supposed to end with prayer and closing remarks from McNair, followed by a cleanup after the event. However, after the prayer, the event ended with an impromptu after party, where students gathered in the front of the room to dance to songs such as “Cupid Shuffle,” Wobble Baby” and “Cha Cha Slide.”
“I was expecting to see a lot of themed and dance performances, but I was surprised when I found out there was more than that,” freshman communication studies major Taylor Noble said. “There was interpretive dancing and UMOJA step Team, [and] everyone had an amazing talent and I feel so blessed to be able to see it.”
McNair wanted students to come out to the event to get out of their comfort zone and take part in black history in the making.
“People are going to get on stage and dance, sing and do poetry,” McNair said. “I wanted people to have their eyes, ears and hearts open to receive that and know that these are their fellow students on campus. I want students to feel empowered to share their story with someone that is different than them. This is a call to action. Black history is happening right now, [and] we are participants in it.”