BTS: Afrocentric Blowout

A preview into the work behind Black Student Union’s yearly production.


Participants rehearsing after school for the show.

Tiana Anderson, Website Manager

It is time! Another year of the annual Afrocentric Blowout show. In honor of Black History Month, the Suncoast Black Student Union, supervised by African American History teacher Dr. Clarence Walker, produced the hour-long show, displaying the beauty of the different African American cultures to the student body.

In previous years, this show was only accessible to teachers who signed up to watch the show. This was the first year the Afrocentric Blowout was showcased to the entire school body. This gave each student attending the opportunity to gain insight about the importance of Black History Month, as well as the various aspects of African American culture.

Throughout the month of February, up until the show date, all of the participants of the show and the committee members of BSU took the time out of their day to stay after school and rehearse.

“Rehearsals have definitely been a bumpy ride, some people weren’t present and there wasn’t enough consistency daily, which makes it hard for others. It was also challenging when working with large groups of people. However, we gave pep talks to the performers and they improved,” BSU Co-event coordinator Serenah Amilca stated.

Having the perseverance to stay after school daily on top of having to complete homework is a huge commitment. Since participants are aware of the time and dedication this show comes with, it is important to take it seriously.

This show is open to members of the Black Student Union and anyone willing to show the beauty of African culture. The showcase included different styles of rap, dance, and singing, and even a fashion show displaying the various African American countries.

“During rehearsals, I enjoy the motivation and encouragement everyone gives us when we are practicing and performing in front of them, even if it’s not perfect. That encouragement also allows us to do better as a group,” senior Chargerette member Jeneè Cornelius said.

The Black Student Union is a community, so it is essential to lift each other up and come together when producing such a big show like the Blowout.

Walker leaves this show up to the committee members and participants. He allows the students to come up with their own ideas to incorporate into the show. Showing consistency is the most important thing needed to put the show together.

“I expect all of the participants from the tech team to the performers to give 100% commitment, so that we can have an excellent show due to their dedication and consistency,” Walker said.

Additionally, the wonderful senior president of BSU, Justin Ricketts, will be handing over his spot at the end of the year. Ricketts shows the underclassmen the importance of being a team leader and having dedication.

“I definitely recommend starting preparations as early as possible, for starters. Also, coordinating large groups can be extremely difficult; so establish clear and easy lines of communication with everyone and make sure everyone is committed, clear on expectations, and ready to go for rehearsals,” Ricketts expressed.

Ricketts does an amazing job showing what it is like to be in charge and is here to motivate others.

Honoring the significance of Black History Month is essential to our school as a whole. The annual blowout will continue to occur and will only exceed from here!