A ‘Red Carpet’ night

David Yochum

Hollywood chic fills the air at Black United Students’

Kent State University students show off their finest outfits during the Black United Students 37th Annual Ball and Pageant last night. It was an “extravagant night of talent,” according to Kareem Mitchell, senior criminal justice major and Black United St

Credit: John Proppe

For the first verse, Gary Thomas hid behind the mic, his voice at a nervous low.

He was trying to belt Musiq’s “DoubleChange” on stage, but he realized he needed to switch things up.

So the freshman music major grabbed the mic, took a few steps toward the crowd and by the end of his second verse, the Renaissance Ball audience started clapping.

Thomas, along with a host of other talents, entertained a full house in the Student Center Ballroom last night at Black United Students 37th annual Renaissance Ball and Pageant.


The “Red Carpet Event” drew students in suits and evening wear and featured spoken word and vocal competitions for Renaissance Ball royalty.

Jonathon Brown, freshman music major, and Martina Nwoga, freshman broadcast journalism major, were crowned Prince and Princess of the ball, while Rasheed McGee, junior psychology major, and Lauren Rochelle Welch, freshmen broadcast journalism major took home the titles of King and Queen.

Traditionally the Renaissance Ball is seen as a homecoming dance for Kent State’s black community, and like most homecomings, there was music, dancing and picture taking.

“It’s the only time when all of us black students can get together without any politics and have a good time,” said Lindsay Fields, junior fashion merchandising major. “Everyone looks so pretty.”

Compared to previous years, last night’s Renaissance Ball stood out for having energy, said Carla Smith, BUS programming director.

That’s what BUS President Sasha Parker hoped would happen.

“All the ball contestants have come a long way,” Parker said. “A big thing before was that they didn’t look comfortable, but they practiced four days a week for six weeks.”

Smith and Parker both said they weren’t surprised at the high student turnout for Renaissance Ball, as the dance is one of the most popular BUS events of the year.

Contact minority affairs reporter David Yochum at [email protected].