Music, art, dancing: Black Student Union hosts annual Soul Café

Kansas State’s Black Student Union hosted its annual Soul Café in honor of Black History Month at the Grand Ballroom Friday night. (Lexi Garcia | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State’s Black Student Union hosted its annual Soul Café in honor of Black History Month in the K-State Student Union Grand Ballroom on Friday night.

With social distancing, spread out tables and masks required, the Soul Café opened its doors, showcasing the talent of Black students at K-State. The performances offered a unique perspective of Black culture.

On each table was the name of a prominent Black musician. Everyone had to come up with a powerful lyric and share it either through singing or saying it out loud.

Fashion was another aspect of the night, with a photo background provided. People dressed to impress — girls wearing mink coats, leather pants and animal prints, and guys in overcoats, designer clothes and glasses as a finishing touch.

The night also featured a fashion contest with two winners receiving either a Starbucks or Buffalo Wild Wings gift card.

Malik Jenkins, sophomore in life sciences, and Jeffrey Mathews Jr., senior in marketing, introduced themselves as the night’s MCs. Then it was straight into the first performance.

Brad Richards, senior in economics, performed spoken word poetry, including an original poem tackling racial injustice titled “College Assignments.”

“So it’s crazy, cause they killin’ us, but when will it stop?” Richards said. “I checked the news. Someone who looked like me got shot by a cop.”

Amaya Molinar, sophomore in biological systems engineering, was one of two instrument players for the night. The crowd sang along to songs like J Cole’s “Power Trip,” Boys 2 Men’s “Can You Stand the Rain,” Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk” and The Boondocks outro as she played the instrumental on her flute.

Alyssa Byers, sophomore in applied music, played her guitar to Summer Walker’s emotional song “Session 32.”

Intermission came and dinner was served by July’s Kitchen Food Truck and Catering, a local vendor specializing in American soul food. Performances continued after the meal.

Kansas City artist D.J. Sanders, sophomore in marketing, was one of the major performances of the night.

This was Sanders’ second time performing at Soul Café, this time debuting one of his unreleased songs, an R&B style song about getting together with a woman stuck in a bad relationship.

“It felt cool,” Sanders said. “I don’t ever really get that nervous to perform since I’ve been doing it a long time. It’s kinda natural to me, but it’s been a long time since I last performed, so I was a little nervous.”

The night ended with the K-State Poize Hip-Hop Dance Team performing routines to songs from Britney Spears and Ella Mai. The three women wore matching outfits of jeans, black t-shirts and black face masks.