BSU hosts first-ever Black Men’s Appreciation
February 12, 2008 12:27 PM
The first-ever Black Men’s Appreciation dinner attracted a sizable crowd to SF State’s Jack Adams Hall Tuesday night, providing attendees with a meal and a series of short, upbeat presentations discussing black males’ responsibilities in romance.
The event, organized by the “Queens” women’s group in the Black Student Union, was a response to the annual ladies appreciation dinner held by the “Kings” men’s group in the BSU, said contributing organizer Saran “Indy” Goodson, 21.
“There are a lot of negative portrayals [of black men],” said 20-year-old Melanie Eke, a Queen in the BSU and one of the event’s hosts.
“It’s important that they hear it, especially from us,” Eke said of the appreciation. “Appreciating them in every way possible,” was the goal, said the radio and television major.
A line of women greeted the men as they arrived, escorting them to their tables. Most attendees wore formal attire, and the atmosphere was that of a classy dinner show. More than 100 people attended.
The Queens had kept the details of the event secret until Tuesday night, said BSU treasurer Erin Haywood, 21.
While waiting for the event to begin, economics major Nathan Belete, 18, said he had “no idea” what was going to happen during the dinner.
Even regular disk jockey John “DJ Nyce” Arthurs, 22, retired from his usual role so that DJ Tiffany Linter could take over. It was 18-year-old Linter’s first show.
Presentations included a “Dating Game” involving a random single man from the audience, speeches, awards, poetry and video clips.
One clip, titled “What Not to Do,” was a satirical comedy contrasting sleazy and respectful approaches to flirting with women. In both cases, the men depicted were hitting on a young woman working at the Cesar Chavez Student Center’s information desk.
“We wanted you to be able to talk about this over dinner,” said Haywood, who helped create the skit.
Visiting the tables during dinner, Haywood, a liberal studies major, asked some attendees to respond to questions projected above the stage. From romance to shoe preference, the questions prompted a variety of both comical and serious answers from the audience.
Toward the end of the event, a series of women took to the podium for an emotional thanks to specific men in their lives. Many of the men mentioned were present, rising to embrace their friends and loved ones to the applause of the audience.
Though BSU organizers have been planning for Black History Month since last February, Haywood said, “We don’t want people to think that we just focus on Black History Month.”
In addition to the month’s events, the BSU is planning for more outreach to freshmen and high schools and to organize a conference of local BSUs in either April or May.
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