Black Resource Center hosts debut Black Prom with ‘Harlem Nights’ theme

Throughout the night, several students at the prom were recognized for their leadership within SDSUs Black community.

Rodney Manford

Throughout the night, several students at the prom were recognized for their leadership within SDSU’s Black community.

On Friday, April 15, San Diego State’s Black Resource Center hosted their first ever Black Prom at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. Students were able to put on and show out their best fits to their peers. 

The theme was Harlem Nights, based on the Eddie Murphy film of the same name and inspired by the Harlem Renaissance. The importance of this theme was to represent the African American culture’s golden age, which consisted of the strong representation of arts, music and literature. Needless to say, there is a lot of talent SDSU’s Black community has to offer. 

The night kicked off at 7:30 p.m. with a red carpet as a royal welcome for students to walk down with feel good music. Throughout the night, friends met up in groups and lined up to take flicks and videos in a 360 photo booth. 

Students had a memorable night as they all gathered up to the dance floor and did the electric slide to multiple songs. 

There is no disagreement that COVID-19 took away countless events for a majority of the underclassmen back when they were in high school. Prom, being one of the main events towards the end of the school year, gave students one of the last chances to be together in the same social scene. 

That being said, Harlem Nights meant a lot to the Black students that attended. Many saw it as an opportunity to spend the end of their semester with their peers. 

Awards were one of the highlights for Harlem Nights. Students were recognized for their leadership and hard work they put into supporting the Black community on campus.

Caili Anderson, a third year majoring in political science with a minor in sociology and marketing, was one of the students who won an award at Harlem Nights.

“I won the ‘Most Impactful’ award and winning that award touched my heart. I love the Black community which is why I put so much effort into giving back and staying active within the community,” Anderson said. 

She enjoyed her time at Harlem Nights and thought it was a great bonding experience, especially for the freshman and sophomores who did not get a prom in high school.  

Harlem Nights was wrapped up with performances from SDSU students and alumni. 

Jervaughn Gaines, also known as “3CityJay” is a fourth year at SDSU, majoring in electrical engineering. He was the opening performance for headliner Kalan.FrFr, a Los Angeles based rapper and SDSU alumnus. 

3CityJay performed multiple songs from his new EP “STARTER Pakk.” He had the crowd chanting and rapping along with him as he performed “She Want It” featuring B. Shaw, “Pick The Paper” featuring Frada, and “Kasamigos.” 

“It was crazy because I didn’t expect a lot of people to know the words to my song, it was just really exhilarating. The fact that people knew the words and were hyping me up was very wild to me,” Gaines said. 

He is a perfect example to the theme of Harlem Nights being based on the Black Renaissance. Peers uplifted one another while others were able to have the opportunity to showcase their talents for the night. 

After 3CityJay’s opening act, the night was then concluded with a performance from Kalan.FrFr. 

It was without a doubt the audience was excited as he instantly popped up on stage performing his fan favorite hit, “Right Wit It.” The crowd went crazy for Kalan and sang along with him. 

Throughout Kalan.FrFr’s performance, there were many times where he would pause his music and let the audience rap the rest of the lines to his song. He fed off of his fan’s energy as he rapped his song “Scoring,” knowing that most people would join him. 

Overall, the notable alumnus put on a show and gave back to his Black community at SDSU. 

“It meant being celebrated with people we have similar culture with through the music, dance, and our outfits,” said Mereb Kahsay, a first year majoring in theater, film and new media.

Harlem Nights reminded Kahsay of the Harlem Renaissance due to the amount of creativity and talent seen that night. 

It is safe to say that ultimately, Harlem Nights, the first prom hosted by the Black Resource Center was eventful for the Black community.