By William Jordan
The saying goes, “music is the universal language,” if that is the truth, then I’m a firm believer that black America has mastered this art form.
On April 16, Texas Southern University students were able to display more than just their musical talents and lyrics on campus during the kick-off concert for Communication Week 2018.
On the surface, one would think that those gathered in front of Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanities Center were kids with dreams, but what I saw was the manifestation of a generation taking full advantage of their freedom to express themselves.
These college students performed to the contrary of my initial expectation of your typical hip hop verses full of misogynistic language peppered with unrealistic dreams.
First impressions are always lasting. From the moment the first artist, Big Will, stepped up to perform, I was pleasantly surprised, as he introduced himself proclaiming that God sent him to tell the audience something.
In my experience, whatever comes after that sentence, be it actions or words, it never aligns or makes sense with anything I know God to say or do.
What I admired most about these aspiring artists was their willingness to use music as an avenue to express their inner self, and TSU’s Communication Week afforded them the opportunity to do so.
The refreshing feeling of seeing and hearing positive messages mixed with support from peers and faculty did nothing short of showing me that this audience understood the importance of artistic expression.
As I stood and observed the moment, I realized that music bridges one generation to the next. It’s moments like these that link two worlds together pushing forward our culture, passing on knowledge, and accepting new voices within communication.
The moans of the Negro spiritual connects us to the cotton fields of slavery, yet my generation never picked cotton. The chant for equality takes us to the streets of civil rights marches, yet my generation never had to drink from a different fountain or walk through a back door. Now here we are documenting our own words for future generations to come.
The stage is set and the bar is high for the rest of Communication Week 2018 based on today’s performance.