Rattlers revisit times of Harlem Renaissance

Prepare to be taken back to the time of the Harlem Renaissance.

“Harlem Nights” is a festival hosted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., that celebrates the Harlem Renaissance period.

The event was founded by Chelsea Andrews, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Andrews, a senior business administration student from Fort Lauderdale, saw a lack of an annual celebration that honored black history month on FAMU’s campus, and decided to create one.

Andrews chose the Harlem Renaissance as her focus because she felt that during black history month, black inventors were concentrated on more, leaving the arts over looked.

“Harlem Nights is a classy outdoor event that celebrates art appreciation and expression,” Andrews said. “The focus of the event includes artistic expression, upliftment, creating a link between the past and the future and giving back.”

This highly anticipated event will take place on the Set for the second year, and an even bigger turnout is expected this time around.

Rian Johnson, event organizer and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., wants people to come out and enjoy the event.

“I want people to experience something fun and different,” Johnson, a senior business manager from Dallas said. “We want to expose people to the arts and celebrate them.”

The Set will be decorated and the participants will be dressed in resemblance of the period. Many aspects of the arts will be touched on with different activities at the event.

An exhibit featuring the art of FAMU students and other local artists will be showcased. An art competition will take place for FAMU students, and those attending the event are encouraged to vote. The winners will receive prizes.

Odyssey, a local jazz band, will be performing at the event. There will also be other FAMU acts performing. Students will also have a chance to express themselves during an open-mic session.

“We are trying to provide a venue for students to express themselves,” Andrews said.

Several black owned businesses will attend the event. Some of the businesses will be selling things, and others will be out trying to get exposure and to inform the community about the services they provide. Some of the businesses will include Shingles Fried Chicken, Mandisa Ngozi Braiding Gallery, Mt. Zion Calypso Café, Wild Style Music & More.

A photo booth will be available for attendees of the event to take pictures. Prizes from BET will be given out as well.

All of the proceeds from this event will benefit the East Harlem School at Exodus House.

The school is in Harlem, and covers grades fifth through eighth. Most of the students are of African-American and Hispanic descent, and come from low-income families. Many of the students go on to attend prestigious boarding schools.

“These students are chosen to attend the East Harlem School at Exodus House because they show a lot of promise for the future,” Johnson said. Johnson also said that her sorority is donating funds so that these students can get the education they deserve, despite the lack of income in their families.

People who plan to attend the event are also encouraged to bring donations of canned goods, books and clothes. The donations will be used to benefit families in Frenchtown for the “Frenchtown Explosion,” an annual community service event that will be hosted at the end of this semester by both Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.