The history behind popular dance moves such as the ‘whip’ and hairstyles such as cornrows is often lost and disregarded. That is why the Black Art Association’s goal is to bring people together through art to remind students of the origins of black creativity.
Sammera Fadul, interior design senior, participated in The Mr. and Miss Black Excellence Pageant in spring 2017. During the Q&A portion of the pageant, Fadul was asked what solution she had to unify the black community at Texas State. She said she planned on creating a group of students that showcased and glorified black creativity.
After a semester of participation in the pageant, Fadul won. She then followed through with her plans and collaborated with Dora Borrego, psychology senior, to create the Black Art Association.
Fadul and Borrego said bringing awareness to black culture in everyday life is one of the main purposes of the organization.
“You can drive down the highway and see a billboard that says, ‘watch me whip’, and have no idea that dance move was actually started by a black community in Atlanta,” Fadul said.
Fadul said she was tired of witnessing black creativity absorbed by the world without due credit.
“It’s a genre of art that’s extremely underrated and overlooked,” Fadul said. “Not just by the world but specifically by the black community in itself.”
Borrego said the unity the association provides for its members is strong and significant. The group welcomes people of any racial background and is not limited to artists or black students; anyone who wants to participate is welcome.
“Anybody that could be subject to disenfranchisement or put at a disadvantage should always be front and center so we could help them reach equality,” Borrego said. “Let’s not live in a society where someone a thousand years from now looks back and is disgusted with their ancestors.”
Truth Anderson, fashion merchandizing sophomore, is a member of the association who said he appreciates the community it has brought into his life.
“It has a vibe that’s really similar to my life,” Anderson said. “You’re always surrounded by uplifting people and just all forms of art.”
In celebration of Black History Month, on Feb. 6 the association went to the Quad with a cornrow demonstration in a display of black art and unity. Fadul said the origin of cornrows goes back to Africa where tribes would wear different hairstyles to represent themselves.
Borrego said although she appreciates Black History Month, celebrating and talking about black history is something the association does all year round and that February just serves as a time to bring it to the forefront.
The association plans to present a Black Art Week March 19-23. The organization will host a variety of events showcasing black art and celebrating the community.