This coming Saturday, the Organization of Black Students (OBS) will present Blackout, its most ambitious cultural show to date. The night will include food provided by The Banana Leaf, a restaurant that specializes in Caribbean food. The show itself will include a variety of black performers in a celebration of black students on campus and their talent.
Kendall Elue, the cultural-show chair of OBS, emphasized that the entertainment offerings at the show will be diverse in nature. “The cultural show will have anything that pertains to black culture or black talent. That can be as simple as a black student who wants to sing a song of their own…or it could be something that’s more traditionally associated with black culture: things like rap, slam poetry, or stepping.”
The cultural show will also feature some already well-recognized talent, such as Kid Wicked (aka Ben Glover), a first-year in the College and well-known rapper in Hyde Park. His act will include two surprise performers who are also established in their artistic fields. “These two surprise guests should be well known to students,” said Igolo Obi, second-year in the College and OBS social chair. “We won’t reveal who these surprise performers are…. Maybe they rap; maybe they dance; maybe they sing…and they’re pretty famous.” It seems that the only way to find out who these surprise guests are is to show up to the performance. “It’s going to be a great show,” Obi insisted. “You shouldn’t be anywhere else but the cultural show.”
OBS offers black students a place to showcase their talents through the cultural show, but its broader goal is to give them an understanding and welcoming community of student peers with events like the Heritage Ball and weekly Sunday dinners. “It’s nice to know that there’s somewhere I can go once a week and talk to people who might share my viewpoints or sympathize with my experiences,” Obi said. With a low number of black students at UChicago, it is not surprising that some of these students would seek a community with people who have gone through similar experiences as they have. “It’s important that black students know that there is a collection of black people that they know that they can look up to and ask for help,” Elue said, emphasizing the important community that OBS has nurtured on this campus.
Blackout is Saturday, June 23, Logan Center for the Arts. Dinner at 6 p.m. with show at 7 p.m. Tickets available for sale in Reynolds with UCID for $5, online for $6.27, or at the door for $7.