In honor of Black History Month, the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted Soul Train at Sam Houston State University. This was the second event presented by SGA this week in correlation to Black History Month following Black Wall Street. Soul Train took place Thursday, Feb. 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Orange Ballroom.
“SGA hosts an annual Black History Month program, and as the Director of Student Affairs, it is my job to help plan the event,” senior Healthcare Administration major Stella Essel said. “I wanted to do a Soul Train 70’s themed event last year, however I was not a director at the time.”
For the 70’s themed event, students were able to showcase talents and their culture through dances, songs and poetry that had been lined up. Throughout the duration of the event, awards were presented to those who had dressed up with an outfit they best thought represented what Soul Train meant.
The three awards presented were Best Dressed Individual Student, Best Dressed Student Organization and Best Dressed Greek Life Organization.
The awards were presented by Miss Sam Houston, Camryn Hopkins, followed by a speech where she spoke about being the first African-American winner of the title since 2016 and as well as being the first African-American president of Sam Houston’s Alpha Chi Omega chapter.
During the program, a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) presentation was given to teach about Black history, not only in America, but also at Sam Houston.
In 1964, John Arthur Patrick became the first Black student at Sam Houston.
During this, a spotlight was given to two Black SHSU faculty members, vice president of student affairs Frank Parker and dean of students Chelsea Smith.
Afterwards, students competed against special guest star Emmanuel Hudson and his crew from “Wild ‘N Out” in various games including “Talkin’ Spit,” “Kick ‘Em Out the Classroom” and “Let Me Holla.” Hudson also gave students the opportunity to ask him questions about his life and career.
“With the help of co-director of public relations Faith Adjei-Sarpong, we were able to reach out to a Sam Houston alumni who knew the manager of Emmanuel Hudson,” Essel explained. “We wanted a guest speaker who was fun, energetic and who matched the vibes of Soul Train.”
Hudson was constantly interacting with not only the people on stage but as well as the audience. He was able to get students out of their chairs and on their feet multiple times throughout his time on stage.
“I loved seeing all of the different student groups at the beginning,” freshman theater major Rorie Young stated. “The way Emmanuel Hudson interacted with the crowd was awesome.”
In the end, this event showed representation, appreciation and unity within a community that has faced many obstacles in order to be where they are today.
“Soul Train is meant to celebrate black culture and as black people, we are kind, we are strong, and we are unique,” Essel stated. “Being that SHSU is a predominantly white school, we wanted to make sure that black students felt comfortable and appreciated for who they are.”