“The Power is in Our Hands”

With all the seats taken, the Black Student Unions’ “The Power is in Your Hands” event made quite a night in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Living Room.

The main event invited Stretch Sanders, a Christian Minister from Las Vegas, to speak about empowering black culture through education.

“In order to have power in your hands you have to understand who you are,” Sanders said. “No matter what your ethnicity is, understand who you are, who you were made to be and do. In order to have power in your hands you need to have power in your head.”

One note that Sanders outlined is to create change by using the power and influences that you have.

“If you are black, we believe in black power,” Sanders said. “If you are brown, we believe in brown power. Yellow, yellow power. Red, red power. This isn’t about being anti-anything. This is about being for ourselves. I can’t love my neighbor without loving myself as the word says.”

Up until Sanders’ speech, many members of the BSU presented expressions of their feelings and thoughts through song and slam poetry.

One member, Darryn Ratliff, played the song “I Feel Love” by Crsp.

“I wasn’t planning on doing this at all” Ratliff said. “I was just sitting on the side playing my ukulele. Then my friends convinced me to go up there and do it. I don’t really perform too often, but it was cool.”

President of BSU Sunny Sims, said she was excited to host the event and invite Sanders to speak.

“I think the things that were really fun was the open mic night,” Sims said. “Just hearing people express how they feel and getting the idea of what it is like to be in a black person’s shoes. The most important part is the educational factor. I think that it’s important that we educate people. It’s very important for people to understand that there is oppression, it does exist and that people should notice that and try to do as much as they can to make it go away and come together.”

The BSU’s meetings are typically in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. For more information on their events, visit them on T-Bird Connection here.

Story and photos by
William Robertson