By Cortez Cruz Serrato
The third annual Black History Project celebrated Black culture with dance, music and spoken word last Thursday at the S2 Recital Hall.
Performances by jimbe drummer John Beatty, Roberto Chavez’ jazz band, Gospel singer Phillip Brandon and Jazz Antiqua exhibited the wide range of African and Latin- American performing arts.
East Los Angeles College adjunct dance professor and Black History Project founder Wanda-Lee Evans found it important to have a variety of acts.
“African American culture is a very diverse culture and there are many different aspects.From John Beatty’s performance to Jazz Antiqua, we saw not only variety, but an evolution of African American culture,” Evans said.
Evans said the event is not only to celebrate African American culture, but to appreciate other cultures and people with different ethnic backgrounds.
“All of our histories need to be shared and the more we share, the greater understanding we have of one another,” Evans said.
Professor Nader Haddad’s spoken word performance focused on the evolution of Malcolm X’s teachings and also of what kind of man he really was.
“Most often students are not taught about Malcolm and if they are it is a watered down or ‘whitewashed’ version of him,” Haddad said.
Professor Roberto Chavez and his jazz band played their own spin on Afro-Latin American music.
The band used a wide range of instruments from the common drum set, bass guitars and trumpets to bongo drums to give its performance an authentic Latin flair.