COVID-19 Updates

BSU is open. Non-essential employees are mostly teleworking, and classes are following a hybrid model of in-person and online instruction.

Harlem Renaissance painter Jacob Lawrence Gets Star Turn at Art Event

By Katrina Smith

Seven wonderful ladies, Jessica White, Ciara Hall, Joy Dangerfield, Samirah Yates, Kierra Burk, and Jasmine Adkins-Taylor, from Collegiate 100 Black Women, put together an event properly titled, “Sip N Paint: Discussing the Harlem Renaissance.”

The event focused on the Harlem Renaissance’s famed painter Jacob Lawrence and the idea for the event was for participant’s to create replicas of his paintings.

Yates thought it would be a great idea to start the event with an icebreaker. The icebreaker she chose was a game of "telephone." Everyone proceeded to stand in a circle and engaged in laughter and jokes as they passed the message along ear to ear: “Black History Month first started off as Black History Week.”

As everyone went back to their seats, White greeted audience members with a presentation on the famed painter Jacob Lawrence. To engage her audience, White asked the room, “Does anyone know what the ‘Great Migration’ was?”

After 30 seconds of silence and giggles, student DeJaneeh Jackson proceeded to explain that, “the Great Migration was about African Americans heading North from the West and the South to find new opportunities for work.” Most in the room were impressed by Jackson’s knowledge and were happy to have learned the new information.

White focused on Jacob Lawrence for the event because she wanted her audience to create replicas of his work. He was widely known for his “portrayal of African American life…and style of dynamic cubism.”

The purpose of the event was for students to “learn something new in relationship to Black History Month,” White said.

“At Bowie State, I took African-American history,” White said. “I learned stuff that I didn’t learn before college. So I thought it would be cool for us to learn about someone from the Harlem Renaissance and learn more about our culture.”