Review from The East Carolinian

Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2016 6:00 am

The Ledonia Wright Cultural Center is kicking off Black History Month tonight with the opening celebration featuring cultural guest performers.

“We have done this differently in the past years, but the concept of it stays the same,” said Tedrick Taylor, History and Heritage Leader for Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. “It is bringing people of the same culture together to celebrate Black History Month.”

As a part of the opening celebration, Toby Foyeh Band & Orchestra will be featured. The band plays blends of Nigerian music and western styles such as pop, jazz and more. Along with a performance of music and songs, they will dance in new and traditional styles.

Starting at an early age, the leader Foyeh played and performed music in Nigeria. He studied music in a number of colleges such as Berklee College of Music and Howard University. His songs turned into hits and famous music videos. He grew to frequently perform with his band on television in Nigeria and continues to arrange and produce music not only with his band but in collaboration with other artists and musicians.

“The band and orchestra is definitely going to be more of an entertainment to students,” Taylor said. “But because of the cultural significance of it, it will play both an entertaining and informative role.”

LWCC will hold multiple events in celebration of Black History Month. According to Taylor, they will host a Black HIV awareness event along with a Tunnel of Oppression, which will speak on oppressed cultures at ECU and in the world. Later in the month, social activist Angela Davis will serve as the keynote speaker and a dinner is planned in Todd Dining Hall in collaboration with ECU’s Black Student Union.

“The cultural center plays a big role on influencing African American students,” Taylor said. “Because we are such a small population here at ECU, it gives people a place of shelter and comfort.”

Taylor said LWCC focuses on all cultural students and acts as the voice for students when they prefer not to speak, or for those who have no resources or notoriety to be active on campus. The cultural center stands a channel between the students and administration.

“We have had creative input from BSU and African Student Organization,” Taylor said. “We do always look for assistance from cultural organizations when it comes to planning events like this.”

According to Taylor, the opening celebration is out of the box for most universities.

“I encourage everyone to come to the opening celebration because this isn’t something you typically see here at ECU,” Taylor said. “Usually at events, you typically see the same things, whether it involves Greek students or people talking on a stage.”

“I look forward to everyone coming out and I just hope that everyone has a great time,” Taylor added.

The celebration begins tonight at 6 p.m. in Hendrix Theatre.