Students celebrate Black love at annual ‘Paint it Black’ showcase

By Zoë Takaki, Staff Reporter

Students recited passionate poetry, sang lyrics of love and performed immersive monologues at the 15th annual Paint it Black showcase sponsored by the Black Student Union on Friday at the Student Center.

Pink lights and red roses decorated the stage for a romantic and intimate interior.

Tymony Nolan, BSU president, said the theme of Black love and intimacy was chosen because “the media doesn’t really show Black love as something that’s common.”

“It’s out of the ordinary,” Nolan said.

“We really wanted to make sure that we give a space to show this art that encapsulates what Black love is.” Nolan said.

The showcase was split into four parts: Phila (overall love), Storge (family), Eros (romantic love) and Agape (self love/love for all mankind). The titles reference Greek words for love.

Elijah Jagours, creative director of the showcase, said including multiple kinds of love was intentional.

“We give and receive different types of love, whether that be through our friends, our family, our romantic partner or for the world,” said Jagours, who is a junior music major.

The Paint it Black showcase has been a space for BSU members to express their creativity and celebrate the talent of their members since 2007.

“This is one of the biggest events showcasing the creative skills and passions of our Black population,” said Columbia President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim.

CK “deadshot” King, junior dance major, felt comfortable in the space. “I love the fact that we have more events dedicated to people that look like me and more things that I can feel comfortable with expressing who I am and supporting my peers as well,” King said.

Karington “Kkswizzle” Cox, junior graphic design major, said events like Paint it Black “give a platform for African Americans to showcase their talent.”

Cox, BSU events manager, brought her portraits of Black women as butterflies titled “Mama gave me wings” on stage and performed a poem titled “Butterfly” alongside them. Her work is a positive representation for Black women. She said she hoped the audience would “Feel like the words that I’m saying.”

And for some, the event did just that. “The event was amazing. It gave me a new perspective about love. I have to reevaluate my relationships,” said Samiyyah Lamier, junior film and television major.

The event ended with Danny Locke and Jordan Greer, junior and senior music majors respectively, performing “Masterpiece” by Jazmine Sullivan.

“We chose ‘Masterpiece’ as the final song because it’s not just about the singer saying that they’re a masterpiece, but it’s also about letting everybody else know that they are a masterpiece and that everybody can be a vision of Mona Lisa.” Jagours said.