The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Black History Month Kickoff promotes Guilford community

Voices of Victory, a Guilford gospel choir, led the audience at Guilford College’s Black History Month Kickoff in singing “Hallelujah”.

Guilford students gathered in Dana Auditorium on Feb. 7 to attend the Black History Month Kickoff, which highlighted black artists and business owners from Guilford College, Greensboro and the surrounding area.

In a speech at the beginning of the event, committee member Toiya Hancock led the audience in a chant that celebrated the African American community at Guilford. 

“Our stories. Our history. Our Guilford. We are Guilford. We, too, are Guilford,” she chanted.

The event featured artists of color from the Guilford community, including a performance of “Hallelujah” by Guilford gospel choir Voices of Victory, a drum solo by current student Madeyson Dyce and a mime performance by Royal Prophecy Mime and former OSLE director Tim Johnson.

The Verge Modeling Troupe from N.C. A&T, local D.J. Montrell “D.J. Trellz” Davis and Demetrius ‘D’ Noble, adjunct professor at UNC Greensboro, also performed at the event. Noble performed two original pieces of spoken word poetry.

The kickoff also featured vendors from local black-owned businesses. Asia Watkins, who works at the Milner Student and Counseling Center, sold a range of organic hair and skin care products.

Malika Moore, who graduated from Guilford in 2022, sells hair accessories and handmade paintings at her business The Loc’d Herb. She felt the event was a success.

“I had great business, I sold a few paintings and some of my handmade jewelry items. I had a great conversation with someone who bought a painting, she told me to value myself and my art more! And that really made me feel good because as an artist you undervalue your work,” she said.

According to Moore, “Black History Month is a time where black excellence is acknowledged. Living in America, I think our positive contributions to society are ignored on a grand scale and this month gives space for those outside of our community to realize this.”

Porsha Tay, a local freelance artist, ran a booth selling original designs that she created for Black History Month. Like much of her other work, the canvases are sealed in a layer of resin, creating a distinctive visual effect. Tay says the name of her business, Pishon Havilah, is a reference to the Biblical land of Havilah encircled by the river Pishon.

The event also featured audience participation, from a question-and-answer segment in the opening speech, to the Voices of Victory performance that encouraged the whole crowd to sing along, to the set by D.J. Trellz that got students dancing. Even when guests were sitting still, the whole room echoed with the performers’ passionate words, the music rumbling out of the speakers and the enthusiastic applause after every act. The whole space felt alive and there was a clear sense of community.

“The positive energy in the room was palpable. Faculty, staff, students, alums and guests came together as a community and we had a wonderful, uplifting experience,” Meredeth Summers, chief of staff at Guilford and a member of the Black History Month Committee who organized the event, said.

“As a Black woman, educator and mother, the significance of this month resonates on multiple levels. It is a time to reflect on the legacies of our ancestral bravery and innovation, to acknowledge the struggles and achievements of our people throughout history who have often broken barriers while facing systemic challenges and to foster a sense of pride and identity,” Summers said. 

“Black history IS American history – it should be recognized, celebrated and uplifted this month and throughout the year!”

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