Black Christian Student Association Event Features Spoken Word Poetry, Dance and Unity

“I’m not alone here.”

“I didn’t know I was going to be here, but God did.”

“A place to find connection.”

This is how a few members of the Black Christian Student Association described the community they found through the club. On Saturday, Sept. 19, the BCSA took over the LaHaye Event Space for an afternoon of spoken word poetry and dance. 

An audience of a few dozen sat in socially distanced clusters behind a cellphone that also livestreamed the performances on Instagram. Some pulled aside their masks to sip Capri Suns and eat snacks laid out on tables decorated with black and yellow balloons. The audience snapped for spoken word poems and cheered      for dancers.

Spoken word poet Atlas Nixon exclaimed his confidence in Christ. “I’m bold enough to pray for peace in places that are left in pieces,” Nixon said. “Sleep on me, and I’m rocking the cradle.”

The Peacemakers dance crew huddled up together before their performance, then did both solo and group dances. One dancer tossed his hat into the audience, and after the performance, they invited audience members to join the crew by coming to rehearsals at DeMoss on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “No auditions,” he said. “Just show up.” 

Crew captain MJ Wade said The Peacemakers’ goal is to lead people to God through dancing. The crew has about 100 dancers including graduates and student. About eight come to a typical rehearsal. Experienced dancers teach newcomers, and the group has performed at Get Downtown, Liberty’s block party and a basketball game halftime.

Dorien Porter, a sophomore and leader in BCSA, said the group made a difference in his life. Porter said the group wants to continue and expand its work by hosting discussions and events on campus while fostering inclusivity. He emphasized that BCSA is an avenue for people from all backgrounds to come together and seek to understand each other.

BCSA President Stephanie Kee said the association is a place to enjoy her culture, the singing, praise dance and music she loves. It helped her find out about resources Liberty offers, such as minority counseling through the LU Shepherd office or the Office of Equity and Inclusion, which she did not know existed. But it’s also a place to educate and build friendships across differences. 

“We welcome everybody, any ethnicity,” Kee said.

BCSA is currently working with the Student Government Association to plan a panel discussion on race. At about 50 members, BCSA plans to keep growing and holding more events.

For information on upcoming BCSA events, follow @bcsaliberty on Instagram.

Esther Eaton is a Feature Reporter. Follow her on Twitter at @EstherJay10.

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