Courtesy of Hunter Robbins

Students, faculty, administrators and more gathered for the “Reclaiming Our Expressions! Black History Month Performing Arts Showcase” that took place in the Underground at the Schwarzman Center on Saturday night. 

This event was part of the Afro-American Cultural Center’s Black History Month programming. Participating student organizations included Yale Gospel Choir, the Nu Gamma Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Sabrosura, Desta, Rhythmic Blue, Steppin’ Out and Dzana, displaying a wide variety of student talents. 

“The show was meaningful because it gave the opportunity for Black students to come together and share their different talents,” said Jordan Mincy ’26. “Whether it was singing, dancing, or spoken word, it was nice to see what the many groups on campus have been working on.” 

Attendees like Mincy loved the lineup of performances, particularly the Yale Gospel Choir, because “the harmonies were incredible and the piano accompaniment was great,” and he found the showcase impactful. 

At the event, there were spoken-word, collaborative dance performances between student groups like Steppin’ Out and Dzana and traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean dances performed by Desta.

Even the new assistant director of the Af-Am House, Byron Brooks, took part in the show. The audience was able to enjoy his musical stylings and spoken word. 

“It was exhilarating, thrilling, and rewarding to have the honor of participating in the show,” Brooks said. “In essence, it gave me an opportunity to share a big part of who I am with the students. On top of that, I witnessed our extremely talented students express themselves through the arts unapologetically.”

Students like Caleb Prempeh ’26, who participated in the show as a part of Dzana, Steppin’ Out and Rhythmic Blue, found it “empowering” to showcase his culture to a larger audience.

“Performing in the show was empowering, as it allowed my teammates and me to embrace Black culture and provided us with the opportunity to reach a broader audience,” Prempeh said. 

While student groups were dancing to the song “My Power” by Beyonce and recreating the associated popular dance trend, there were students behind the scenes, ensuring the showcase went off without a hitch.  

Favour Akingbemi ’26, a student on the student leadership team at the Af-Am House, helped organize the showcase. Akingbemi spent a lot of time working with the House leaders and the participating student organizations, wanting to make sure that student leaders felt supported at all steps in the process needed to prepare for the showcase. 

“As a leader of a performance group myself, I understand the importance of feeling supported in the space that is Yale, especially when working with a new group of people,” Akingbemi said. “The showcase was really important to me because it’s not every day that we get to fully claim a space like Schwarzman as Black people on campus. It felt empowering to be able to express ourselves and to be the center of attention in a place where we can often feel ignored.”

The Schwarzman Center is located at 168 Grove St.