By: Beraiah Baker
Soladeen Hamilton, a sophomore psychology student from Tampa, Fla. was moved after learning about the death of Sandra Bland this summer. He knew that he had to do something for the campus of Florida A&M University. Hamilton began to brainstorm ideas of how he could empower students about their culture when he returned to the hill. The result was Black Out Loud week. From Feb 22 through 24, FAMU students participated in their first ever “Black Out Loud Week” in honor of the final week of black history month.
Hamilton designed a campaign focusing on four target ideas to enrich student’s knowledge of their self-worth as African-Americans. The four objectives are to teach students to be solution oriented, bring cultural awareness of our hidden history, encourage cultural empowerment and establish black economic sovereignty within the community.
Black Out Loud Week started off the with a social media campaign on Monday. Students were asked to make a post of a person, place, object, or event that related to black history and started with the letter “M.”
Antonio Elozar, freshman computer engineering student from Tampa,Fla. participated in the Black Out Week social media and highlighted Malcolm X.
I’ve always looked up to Malcolm X’s approach as a civil rights leader. I think people need aggression sometimes as well as an educated individual.” Elozar said.
Elozar’s Instagram post read “Malcolm X routinely referred to mainstream civil rights leaders as “Uncle Toms” considering them fools for thinking white America would ever willingly give them equality,”
Wednesday’s Renaissance event was a campus favorite. Students enjoyed a reenactment of the Harlem Renaissance period. According to PBS.com, The Harlem Renaissance is known is “A literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that kindled a new black cultural identity.”
After the reenactment, students took a guided tour through one of the largest exhibits of African-American paintings and artifacts “The Kinsey Collection”, which is on display at the Foster Tanner Fine Arts Gallery.
To end the week, students were invited to enjoy a special voter registration drive held during “Blackout Set Friday.” All students were asked to wear all black in solidarity of the commencement of black history month.
“Being black out loud is simply being ‘unapologetically’ black, and in order to make sure our voice is heard we have to vote… so I had to incorporate voters registration in the week with elections coming up next fall.” Hamilton said.
Hamilton was pleased with the success of the movement in its first year. He has already started events for next years “Black Out Loud Week”.