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Issue 7, April/ May 2013



Issue 7, April/ May 2013

BLACKTALK The Off icial Newsletter of the Harvard Black Student Association

In This Issue: Wait, What Just Happened? 2 The New BSA Board! 3 You Don’t Want to Miss This! 4 Community Spotlight: 5

The Talented 6 Membership and 10

Share Your Talents! Every month, BlackTalk will recognize one student from each class as one of the “Talented Four”. Read their story to learn about their journeys and successes.

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Issue 7, April/ May 2013

Wait, What just Happened?

Africa Week

The Harvard African Students Association put on a week of events, starting with the party Dami Duro cosponsored by the Nigerian Students Association, and culminating with Africa Night.

Celebration of Black Women and Tribute to Black Men

The Black Men’s Forum honored the Black women of Harvard while the Association Black Harvard Women celebrated Harvard’s Black men. page 2

Issue 7, April/ May 2013


Congratulations to the New Board! The BSA 2013-2014 Executive Board President


Vice President

Publications Chair


Community Service Chair

Arts & Entertainment Chair

Senior Representative

Political Action Chair

Technology Chair

Ade Popoola Crystal Johnson Alexis Dominique

Sarah Cole

Miles Malbrough

Chesley Ekelem Colette Bishogo Jeffrey Edwards

Lindiwe Rennert

David Boone Jr.

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Issue 7, April/ May 2013


You Don’t Want to Miss This! Calender of Events Apr. 26

DreamGirls opening night

May 2

Reading Period Begins

May 3

KeyChange Concert Lowell Lecture Hall

May 3

ABHW BMF Challenge Quad Lawn

May 4

Kuumba Concert Sanders Theater

May 10

Exam Period Starts

ABHW BMF Challenge! May 3, 1-4pm Quad Lawn It’s going to be a great day of food, music, games, and hanging out with your ABHW sisters and BMF brothers. page 4

Issue 7, April/ May 2013


Community Spotlight

Harvard College



eyChange is the premiere co-ed forum for Black a cappella expression on Harvard College’s campus. Founded in 2006, KeyChange brought a change to Harvard’s a cappella scene by choosing to perform music solely from the African Diaspora. KeyChange’s current musical repertoire includes R&B, hip-hop, neo-soul, and Motown and is consistently growing. Despite the variety of music offered on Harvard’s campus, the members of KeyChange believe in the need for an a cappella group whose song selections and performance focus on and celebrate the unique interests of the Black Community. Black music is a culture and a bonding force in our community and the members of KeyChange hope to affirm that culture at Harvard and beyond.

Community Service: This academic year alone, KeyChange has performed in nine community service events. Most recently, the group performed six selections for the mentees of the Philips Brooks House Athena program for youth empowerment specifically focused on gender. Mentees sang along with KeyChange to songs like Waterfalls by TLC in between group discussions and activities related to the sexuality spectrum and gender related vocabulary lessons.

Board Members Lindiwe Rennert ‘14: president Briana Belser ‘15: Choreographer and Web Manager Antonia Hylton ‘15: Business Manager Randy Randolph ‘13: Music Director Erika Butler ‘13: Assistance Music Director page 5

Issue 7, April/ May 2013


Freshman of the month

David Boone Jr. Class: 2016 Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio Concentration: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Secondary Field: East Asian Studies Dorm: Greenough/Eliot Extracurriculars: BMF, Harvard Undergraduate Robotics Club

Share with us your talents and accomplishments. I don’t have many talents, but I have been extremely blessed with the ability to create opportunities. Against adversity I tend to perform at a much higher level than those without any adversity and that has served me well both here at Harvard and beyond. I am starting an

inspirational speaking circuit and my first stop was in Washington, D.C., where I had the chance to inspire students from all over the country to chase their dreams.

What advice would you give to underclassmen regarding academics, advising, seeking opportunities, and/ or extracurricular life?

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to similar greatness?

At Harvard there will be a lot of pressure to do things that will position you for the best job/ internship and give you a “happy” life, but a happy life requires happiness so you should do what ever makes you happiest. The rest of the pieces will fall into place.

Your opportunity to change the world may never be as great again because there is very little you can’t accomplish today, so why wait till tomorrow? We can start now because the world needs it.

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Issue 7, April/ May 2013


Sophomore of the month

Aniebiet Abasi Class: 2015 Hometown: Katy, TX Concentration: Electrical Engineering S.B. House: Eliot House Extracurriculars: Rugby, SisCo, Working in the Admissions Visitor Center

Share with us your talents and accomplishments. I’m pretty fast on the rugby pitch which is why I play winger. I write spoken word. I’m a great tweeter.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to similar greatness? I don’t really consider myself a talented person compared to the rest of Harvard. If you’re aspiring to be great, you should do what you love and do it often. Recognize those who do it well and ask them for tips. That’s how it is on the rugby field.

Most people don’t know how to play when they come to college. I ask the older girls, “What should I do?”, “Where?”, “When?” Etc. And now I have rookies asking me how to do what I do because apparently I’m a decent player now.

What advice would you give to underclassmen regarding academics, advising, seeking opportunities, and/ or extracurricular life? Ask questions. Don’t be afraid of seeming unintelligent. Go to office hours every week. Find that annoying kid in your classes who seems to be on top of everything and get them to help you. And they’ll do it because they probably have a big ego. For opportunities, go after anything you’re remote-

ly interested in. I want to travel. People have told me that it’s hard to study abroad because engineers have 20 concentration requirements. So I’m looking at engineering schools abroad and talking to my advisor about how to make it happen. And it will. page 7

Issue 7, April/ May 2013


Junior of the month

Jaquell G. Sneed-Adams Class: 2014

Hometown: Henderson, NC Concentration: Psychology Secondary Field: Ethnic Studies House: Currier #QuadLyfe Extracurriculars: Cheerleading; PBHA [Co-directing the Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program (CYEP) this summer, through the Summer Urban Program (SUP)]; BSA; ABHW

Share with us your talents and accomplishments. When I was younger and I told my big brother that I did not have a talent he told me, ‘you do have a talent; you’re good at math!’ Although I was not completely satisfied with his assessment then, I do feel like my passion for math led me to my true talent of working with children, and more specifically, teaching them

math. I’ve worked with children of all ages as a tutor, mentor, and teacher and it’s one of the only things that gives me joy and also makes me feel like I have a purpose. For this reason, I consider teaching as one of my talents and my growth in teaching as one of my most cherished accomplishments.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to similar greatness? My biggest piece of advice would definitely be to never doubt your intelligence or worth. Far too often, Harvard becomes an overwhelmingly stressful environment that tests your sense of self and your belief that you are brilliant, special, and amazing; however, it’s

important to remember that you are all of these things and more. Everyone goes through their own struggles, but these struggles do not diminish your excellence.

Describe one great summer you’ve had while at Harvard. This past summer, I decided that I would like to experience what it’s like to be in Cambridge without the constraints of four classes and a ton of extracurricular activities taking up my every second, while also exploring my interest in education. I found the perfect balance as a mentor for the Crimson Summer Academy (CSA) where I worked with an amazing group

of highly motivated high school students who both impressed and challenged me every single day. I spent my mornings in math class, helping my mentees learn trigonometry and cryptography, afternoons in various workshops and field trips, and evenings grading papers with my fellow mentors…and I would not trade that experience for anything! page 8

Issue 7, April/ May 2013


Senior of the month

Rachel V. Byrd Class: 2013 Hometown: New York, NY Concentration: Special Concentration – “Cinedramatic Arts” Secondary Field (if applicable): African-American Studies House: Winthrop House Extracurriculars: BlackC.A.S.T., Kuumba, Padame, Film (various)

Share with us your talents and accomplishments. It has been my pleasure to create my own concentration while at Harvard in order to discover, study and pursue my passions. As the current president of BlackC.A.S.T., the Harvard Black Community and Student Theatre Group, I have had the opportunity to direct several plays at Harvard and act in many more in an effort to expand my artistic horizons and help resurrect this historic group. In my spare time I work for the Harvard student Agencies Video department and participate on film shoots in New York and around Boston. I have also had the opportunity to act in a couple local theater productions in Boston and Jamaica Plain. One of my greatest accomplishments during my time here has

been the creation of my first short narrative film. I made it originally or a VES class. It was later accepted into a couple national and international festivals and ultimately ended up being part of my submission to various graduate school programs for a Masters degree in Fine Arts. As my final collegiate contribution, I have the pleasure of co-directing the Harvard Office of the Arts “Arts First” production of Dreamgirls for graduation credit in the form of a Senior Project. I plan to work professionally in the entertainment industry as a director, producer, actress and executive. My creative projects stem from an eternal goal of making art that inspires, enlightens, and entertains - in that order.

What advice would you give to underclassmen regarding academics, advising, seeking opportunities, and/ or extracurricular life? Prioritize (which is a lot easier once you figure out what you love) and balance. Seek out multiple advisors but mostly people that you trust and that have your best interest at heart. Do not be afraid to be a maverick. Harvard is not the world – it is a private institution in which you have the

opportunity to design your own uniquely personal experience. Use this time for what it is – four years to grow into the person YOU want to be. And remember, different is not wrong. Uncharted is not impossible. If it’s really you, it’s the right thing to do.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to similar greatness? Take the time to find out what it is that you love – what you were made for. Then put all your energy into that and learn as much as you can. Be brave and believe in yourself. Stop comparing yourself to other people!

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Issue 7, April/ May 2013


Share Your Talents! Every month, BlackTalk will recognize one student from each class as one of the “Talented Four”. Look for their stories in the monthly newsletter. Nominate yourself or someone else for the talented four here or e-mail for details.

BSA Membership Dues


$20 Academic Year $35 Lifetime membership with free black card $40 Lifetime membership with free black card & T-shirt

The BSA would like to thank the following sponsors:

That’s a Wrap! E-mail us at for inquiries, comments, etc. on this month’s newsletter. Send us pictures, ideas, etc. that you would like to see in future installments of BLACKTALK. We love to hear from you! WWW.HARVARDBSA.COM Newsletter Edited and Designed by Ahsante Bean page 10

BSA April/ May Newsletter 2013  

BSA April/ May Newsletter 2012-2013 Edited and Designed by Ahsante Bean