BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
The University of Toledo’s theatre, located in the Student Union building, was filled with college students from all ethnicities, on Friday night, March 25, as they watched their fellow classmates, female, as well as male, model various fashionable clothing.
Themed, “Coming to America,” students would model African/Egyptian clothing, and then as the show progressed, move more into a modern, “Sex in the City,” taking from the popular movie, style of clothing.
Perfectly choreographed, the models, some two, three, or more, at a time, would walk down, and slightly dance to the beat of the song, the runway, a modeling term used to describe the stage, to hip hop music.
Then, a tall shirtless male model, who garnished numerous applause, and cat calls from female audience members, came out on the stage. Following him were approximately eight female dancers, dressed in grass skirts, black tops, wearing no shoes. They would perform traditional African dance, while forming two lines. At the end of their dance both lines would face each other and the dancers would fall to the ground, as if bowing toward one another.
Then, a female model dressed in African, royal garment, while walking down the middle of the dancers, would slightly touch each dancer, and she would arise from her position of bowing. The female model, was obviously representing the queen, would approach the male model, her king, officially beginning the fashion show, to rounds of thunderous cheers and applause.
Rashad Ervin, who was that shirtless king, told The Toledo Journal, “Modeling isn’t as easy as people think. We have to be able to portray to the audience the type of person we’re modeling.”
Charlee Dumars, said, “We work long hours, on top of attending our classes, practicing over and over again, until we get it right. It’s a fun experience, but it’s definitely not as easy as people may think.”
Lance Price Jr., president of the Black Student Union, BSU, the organization sponsoring their 47th annual scholarship, fashion show, told The Toledo Journal, “This is not only a tradition, but this gives us the opportunity to come together for a fun event, that’s also a positive cause.”
Mr. Price was referring to the fact that the BSU would be awarding two, $1000 scholarships, to two winning applicants. He said in order to qualify, applicants had to have at least a, 2.5 GPA, be returning to the University of Toledo the following fall, academic school year, and write a two-three page essay on what they would do to improve the black student experience at the university.
The winners of the scholarship were Alonia Lewis, a sophomore majoring in Africana Studies and Women of Gender Studies, and Sydney Jones, also a sophomore, majoring in political science and Arabic.
Speaking about her winning essay, Ms. Lewis said her vision to improve the black experience on campus centered on making the campus curriculum more diverse with African American contributions to all areas of academia. She also said she would have African Americans in every academic department on campus, thereby making UT, “A safe place for the black students.”
Ms. Jones also spoke about diversifying the curriculum, as well as the departments. She said she would want to see African American professors teaching courses that aren’t specific to the black experience, which would show that African American insight is just as valuable in other areas of the academic world.