On Feb. 27, Musicians for Social Justice (MSJ) held their Black History Month Gala, “Black Is…” Black artists from the Montclair State University community gathered together at the John J. Cali School of Music to create a show that celebrated not only their talents, but their cultures and traditions alike.
The event began with a small reception that featured Montclair State artists, their work, snacks and live music. A table dedicated to Quadio, MSJ’s partner for the event, was also present, allowing guests to try the website for themselves before its upcoming launch.
The audience listens intently to Marshawn McShan reciting Useni Eugene Perkins’ poem entitled “Hey, Black Child.”
Jahmai Person, president of MSJ, welcomes guests to the gala and explains more about MSJ and what they do as an organization.
Marshawn McShan performs “How Great is Our God,” bringing several people in the audience to tears.
Dale Harris performs powerful spoken word, addressing the way modern African American culture has affected how she practices her religion and how her feelings have evolved over the years.
Khiry Gilchrist singing “This Tune,” a song written by Gilchrist and his friend. Gilchrist dedicated his performance to his late mother.
Eliesia Turner does a dramatic interpretive dance to “Free,” by H.E.R.
Jehod Silver performs a striking dance to “I Need You Now,” by Smokie Norful.