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Bradley speech team celebrates Black excellence

Performers for the Black History Showcase
Photo via the Bradley Speech Teams Instagram

On Feb. 23, the Bradley University speech team gathered to perform for an event that Bradley communications instructor Tia Collins described as a “wonderful showcase of Black excellence.”

The 10th annual Black History Showcase in Dingeldine Music Center opened with Aaron Adams, a freshman theatre performance major, singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” a cappella.

Joseph Cyrus, a junior music and entertainment major, gave an informative speech on Black history to “shed light on the complicated journey Black people have taken to get where they are today.”

“Overall, I had a lot of fun, it was a good time and I was very happy just to see everybody perform well and have a good time too,” Cyrus said.

Dani Holmes, a freshman French and psychology double major, read captivating poetry that focused on Black women, stating that “to be Black and to be [a] woman is magic.”

“I really liked the poems and how they used their hand gestures to tell the story,” freshman nursing major Emma Hale said. “It just kept me engaged.”

Joshua Timmons, a sophomore psychology major, performed a monologue about the Nat Turner slave rebellion, drawing the audience in with expressive motions and a colorful reading.

Prose entered the scene when freshman television arts major Alicia Williams read “Ends of the Earth” by Amy Bloom. She was followed by Adams reading poetry about the tension between queer people and the church.

“I have some friends on the speech team, so seeing them perform is always amazing, especially Aaron Adams. He kills it every single time,” freshman creative writing major, Paris Hunt said. “Because I’m not familiar with speech, it was a great opportunity to come and witness what speech is.”

David Daye, senior political science and organizational communication double major, ended the night with a communication analysis speech about a TikTok therapist. Daye discusses how the person is only reinforcing stereotypes of Black men by using therapist jargon to look at individual choices while ignoring cultural context which is “painting a distorted portrait of Black men.”

“The biggest thing I want you to remember from tonight is that Blackness is not a monolith,” Collins said to close out the outstanding performances from the speech team.

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