Photo courtesy of Blvck Seeds | PXVCE, Siri Imani, Jessi Jumanji and Aziza Love (top to bottom, left to right) perform as Blvck Seeds. The group is a creative collective of artists who perform spoken word, rap and sing to promote a positive urban culture.
The normally quiet and calm Clocktower Lounge was filled with the music of liberation last Wednesday night. The room was occupied by young individuals calling for action, for the end of police brutality, the end of systemic racism and the beginning of a new generation of movers and shakers willing to do something about the injustice they see in the world.
Black Student Association (BSA) and The Clocktower Review brought in The Blvck Seeds Tribe to perform at a BSA general body meeting. The creative collective of artists is seeking to promote positive urban culture and spawn a new Black Renaissance on Xavier’s campus.
“The event was beautiful! I think we reached a lot of students and got them thinking about social issues in this city and the world,” a member of Blvck Seeds said via the group’s Facebook page.
The music of liberation was a combination of spoken word, rapping, singing and performing arts. But mostly, it sounded like the battle cries of Black liberation.
A member of Blvck Seeds commented, “We feel like groups similar to Blvck Seeds provide necessary perspective on current issues that aren’t being talked about. We reassure the students who feel the same as us. And even the ones that don’t get a better understanding of how and why we feel the way we do.”
Within and between songs, poet Siri Imani, songstress Aziza Love, medical musician PXVCE and painter/lyricist Jessi Jumanji talked about their separate yet overlapping experiences as Black people, and as humans.
Themes of White supremacy intersected with fear for economic decline, skepticism toward pesticides, concern about willing ignorance, “Facebook funerals” and mourning the loss of healthy family systems.
“It’s time we police ourselves and hold ourselves accountable,” Blvck Seeds sang in one of their songs.
The performance was filled with passion, and the crowd was energetic. Performers would shout “tribe” into the audience, and the audience would beckon an enthusiastic “tribe” back onto the stage. Many students who didn’t know what they were walking into slowly trickled in to see what all the fuss was about.
“The most impactful thing about the event was the passionate delivery that was exhibited by the group,” Sophomore Izzy Childs said. “Their message was extremely powerful and impactful as well, however, it was the passionate delivery that made their message come alive.”
However effective their performance was at drawing a crowd, the group was steadfast in letting people know that “we are activists before performers,” group member Jessi Jumanji said. The entertainment value and harmonious nature of the group was important, but only in relation to its ability to pass on ideas and beliefs.
“We use our music as a means of revolution for ourselves and all those around us,” Love said.
“Blvck Seeds has a lot to offer a campus like Xavier. Although Xavier is a community dedicated to service and social change, we sometimes fall short of what we preach,” Childs said. “A group like Blvck Seeds reinforces the need and importance of caring about an issue even if it does not directly affect us. Blvck Seeds is a reminder that we, as young adults, have a voice, and we need to use that voice as an avenue for change.”
By: Brittany Wells ~Staff Writer~