By Jephthe Francois ’18
Giving awards to student, faculty, and alumni who were black, the first annual Black Excellence awards hosted By Benji Suprice and Wislene Augustine.
The first performance, by students AJ Terry and Ariana Stanberry won an enormous ovation from the crowd. AJ Terry went first and Ariana Stanberry followed suit.
The first award given was the “Best Smile Award” and “Friendliness Award”. The recipients for these awards were Bradley Etienne and Amber Jogie. Although these awards were awarded to them, Amber Jogie was not present to receive this award.
The next award given was the “Angel Award.” The recipient for this award was Student Brandon Robinson. Brandon was not there exactly at the moment of the award being awarded, because he showed up late. This award exemplifies leadership.
Next, a speech was presented by Dr. Nicholas Rowe. He is the Dean of Student Engagement and Associate Professor of History and Peace Studies here at Gordon College. He gave a brief speech on what his own interpretation of black excellence meant to him.
Hosts Benji Suprice and Wislene Augustine were competing all night with each other about who would win more awards or who was more talented. The two had dance offs and Benji asked the crowd to give him a topic or word for him to make a rap off the top of his head; also known as a freestyle. The crowd was rocking as they were really engaged to hear his talent.
There was an award called the “Best Hair Award” that was awarded to both a male and female recipient. The male recipient was Daryus Vaughan and the female recipient was Wislene Augustine.
The “Best Dressed Awards” went to both a male and female recipient. The male recipient was Tevyn Mitchell and the female recipient was Saba Amare.
The “Angel Award” went to faculty Dr. Dan Darko. This award exemplifies a person with leadership and a person who is living a life that honors God.
Student Shineika Fareus presented a speech on Mary Mahoney. She spoke on what Mary Mahoney meant to the black community as a woman’s rights activist.
Students Daryus Vaughan and Olivia Shaw performed a love song together. Daryus was using a guitar and Olivia sung on the microphone. Together, they both put together a song that excited the crowd.
The “Holiest Male and Female” Awards” went to recipients Nicholas Karinge and Miranda Jones.
The “Studious Male and Female Awards” went to students Jordan Dorelus and Tochi Anioke. These two are usually working hard individually and in some cases even together on homework assignments.
The “Champion Athlete Award” went to student and basketball player Garrison Duvivier. One of his most noted accolades is that he broke the 1000 point mark already in his short time here at Gordon College. He is currently in his junior year.
Student Maxwell Hyman performed a rap song after the “Champion Athlete Award.” Everyone was excited to hear his song. Maxwell also goes by the stage name “No Signal.”
Following the performance by Maxwell, the “Best Dancer Award” went to a male and female recipient. Schneider Alexis won best male dancer and Fatu Kanu won best female singer.
The “Best Singer Award” went to male AJ Terry and female Andrea Wright. These two have performed as part of the Gospel choir here at Gordon College.
The “Torch Award” went to Dr. Nicholas Rowe.
Following the “Torch Award” was what appeared to be an African dance performance. A good portion of the crowd stood on their feet to show off their dance skills as well.
Subsequently, Emmanuel Appiah-Mensah (President of Afro Hamwe) and Christi Bradley presented their senior speeches. They are both seniors graduating this month on May 19th.
A student by the name of Saba Amare wrote a poem and presented it right after Emmanuel and Christi’s senior speeches.
The “acknowledgement of alumni” award went to Choir Director Craig Ramsey who was not present to receive the award.
The final award of the night was the “founder’s” award. This award went to both Dr. Nicholas Row and Paulea Mooney-Mccoy who was a former faculty member here at Gordon College.
At the end of the night, student Daryus Vaughan was interviewed on his thoughts on the “Black Excellence Awards” and he stated this: “I was happy because it was an event on campus that not only unified the black community (which is so needed) but it also unified the campus because of the appreciation of a people I can marginalize or set apart. I thought it was a vision of unity in Christ as well because of the love and sharing of culture in between people.”