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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Yard Show highlights cultural awareness

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Photo by By: Victoria Fluellen @tori_fluellen

Texas A&M’s National Pan-Hellenic Council Hosts 2017 Yardshow.

 

Each fraternity and sorority in the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) at Texas A&M University took center stage with military precision, stood at attention and then the stomp was on.
Friday, Sep 1, African American fraternities and sororities came together to perform for the student body in Rudder Theater. A typical yard show consists of, “a performance composed of steps – which are sequences of movements, rhythms and sounds derived from Africa – strolls, dances, and occasionally skits that are historical and heavily tied into National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations culture and traditions,” Kennedy Washington, general studies major and member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, said.
The Fall 2017 Show took the audience on a historical journey covering social and cultural awareness which reflected on the past, present and future by mimicking well renowned television sitcoms that focused on the African American experience.
“We host the Fall 2017 National Pan-Hellenic Council Yard Show to display our organization’s unique stepping styles and historical influence,” Joshua Morris, National Pan-Hellenic Council president and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, said. “The culture theme was inspired by current events and black popular culture. The importance of this theme is to highlight and foster the inextricable connection between black shows and success.”
From television shows including “That’s So Raven” to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” each fraternity and sorority were given a television show and created their own interpretation of the cultural theme.
“The Yard Show is more like a tribute to ethnic television shows that impacted our organization or the community really well,” Miles Nicholson Jr., biochemistry senior and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, said. “The original theme was culture so we simplified it to TV shows that people really felt like that connected to while growing up.”
The young women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated took on the popular Disney Channel Sitcom, “That’s So Raven.” The members brought entertainment and laughter as they acted out various scenes from the sitcom and dressed as the main characters Raven Baxter, Chelsea Daniels and Eddie Thomas. The ladies focused on the cultural theme by discussing cultural appropriation and relating it to their television show, “That’s So Raven.”
“We incorporated cultural appropriation into our show to talk about how aspects of our culture are taken from others and seen in a different light,” Kayla Hudson, biology senior and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, said. “We hope to put on an entertaining and fun show for the audience and leaves them with the message about how we perceive cultural appropriation.”
Similar to the women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, the men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated strove to entertain the audience with their steps and comedy routine as they mimicked “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Members dressed as the main characters Will Smith, Phillip Banks, Carlton Banks, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Geoffrey and portrayed the well-known humorous moments of this show.
“‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ is black culture,” Jeremy Reese, sports management senior and member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, said. “You can see how many people that are involved in the black community and the black culture came on the show. Will Smith himself is a big icon. The ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ shaped style in a sense. I definitely feel watching shows like [“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Martin”] shaped culture growing up.”
This year’s yard show was not only meant to entertain the student body with skits, steps, and messages relating to ‘Culture’; it was also meant to create unity.
“I want to show that despite your background and your history it’s all about where you see yourself going in the end,” Morris said.

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