Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Host’s Black Men’s Appreciation

A+group+gathers+in+front+of+the+photo+booth+to+take+a+photo+at+the+Black+Men%27s+Appreciation%0Aevent+in+the+Annex+on+February+27%2C+2020.

Maddi

A group gathers in front of the photo booth to take a photo at the Black Men's Appreciation event in the Annex on February 27, 2020.

Jazzmene Lizardo, Staff reporter

         As hip-hop plays in the background, Black SF State students start to fill up the room, leading to a night of appreciation for the Black men on campus.

         Created by the Zeta’s and the Black Student Union, the tradition continues following up to their 10th year hosting Black Men’s Appreciation. A week after celebrating the Black Women’s Appreciation event, the Black Student Association and the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, hosted the annual Black Men’s Appreciation event, finalizing the end of Black History Month.

Located in the Annex, BSU and Zeta’s plan try to plan a few months in advance on who’s catering, awards, the DJ, who is going to escort the men to their tables and performances that will take place during the event. The theme chosen this year was “a step into a Black man’s shoes.”

         Sorority member, Desirae Powell, contributes to the event by, “We basically help put on decorations, we help with the DJ, we help with the women escorting men in, flyers, publicity, making sure the annex is booked, and making sure the food is catered and everyone is fed,” she said.

BSU also works with the associated students on funding Black Men’s Appreciation. BSU member Sean Smith, a fifth year at SF State, says that, “BSU contributes a nice amount when it comes to funding, historical oracle here at SF state, Associated Students will help allocate funds for us to do our special events, and seeing that this is an annual event they put a little bit more in there for us.”

         With doors opening at 7 p.m., women escort the arriving men to their tables waiting for the rest of the event. As people finally trickle in and sit down, the event kicks off with professor Ifetayo Flannery, who gave a speech to begin the rest of the performances.

         After the speech, SF State student  Amira Redeaux, recited a spoken word for the crowd. A poem dedicated to the Black men of the event, she said in her word, “the melanin in your skin is worth more than gold.”

         The women of BSU performed a small dance routine for the guests, with songs from Kehlani, Summer Walker, and other artists. The routine consisted of the dancers wearing matching white button-ups and black shorts, with them doing the splits and kicks.

         As the night continued, guests enjoyed an intermission where men were served with options of mac and cheese, roasted chicken, candied yams and collard greens while the dance floor opened to enjoy the music ..

         Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity member, Timothy Walker, a fourth year said that the event means community, “it really means community often times you might go a whole week without seeing a black person or a black women, and have a whole event dedicated affirming you and building you confidence and to show you off as a black man, it really means a lot to our community.”

         After intermission, SF States drill team the Dancing Divas, put on a performance that had the crowd screaming and clapping during the whole performance. They danced to songs by Beyoncé and included a special dance for men who were chosen to go onto stage, ending with the Divas taking them backstage.

         Awards were then given by the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority including awards given to the BSU Kings who were Sean Smith, Zakariya Ali, and Cameron Morgan. The next few awards were given to the African Association, Eritrean Ethiopian Student Association, Black Business Students Association, and the National Society of Black Engineers here on campus.

         Rimon Sium, who was the recipient for the Eritrean Ethiopian Student Association said that, “Black Men’s Appreciation event means unity and showing love and appreciation for one another,” he says, “it means embracing our blackness in a safe environment.”

The Divine Nine Fraternities, Phi Beta Sigma, Kappa Alpha Phi, Alpha Phi Alpha, and the Omega Psi Phi each received an award. Lastly, the man who helps contribute to the BSU, Lee Twyman, was given an award for his contributions for Black students.

         At the end of the event, guests gathered around and watched the fraternities and sorority begin their strolls ending the night of Black Men’s Appreciation.