Students showcase the Black experience 

by Kiara Posey

In a movement to showcase Black talent on Troy’s campus, Troy students held the Black Experience (BEX) Award Show last Friday. 

Students, clad in their top gowns and suits, enjoyed a cocktail hour, refreshments, and various musical performances throughout the evening.

“The inspiration behind the Black Experience Award Show was just a way to showcase the Black talent we have on campus,” said Benjamin Hubert II, a senior exercise science major from Atmore, Alabama, and co-founder of the BEX Awards. “A lot of us do a lot of different things that goes unnoticed, like upcoming music artists, or people who do hairstyles.

“The Black Experience Award show is a way to showcase the talent out there, not only for us, but for the whole world to see.”

The award show began with a performance by the Sapphire Dance Team, the first HBCU majorette style dance team at Troy University. Soon after, awards were given out for categories such as the best student organization, chef of the year, black owned beauty business, IT girl, and more. 

This was the second time the BEX Awards has been held at Troy. 

“This year we decided to have an actual committee to help us plan and usher in the next generation, helping them put this together five years from now, ten years from now,” Hubert said.

Maya Salone, a senior business marketing major from Selma, Alabama, received an award for being the “IT Girl.” When she received the award, Salone expressed feeling shocked, yet grateful. 

“This award really lets me see that other people see the work that I do,” Salone said. “I never thought I was noticed, but being given this award makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.”

Hubert said the awards motivate students to keep going and strive for success.

“The message that we’re trying to send is that to us, as people, we are strong,” Hubert said. “There are a lot of things that we are great at, and we look to each other for experience and for motivation. 

“Like if I see if you’re doing it, I can do it to next year, maybe I can get my name on the nominations list.”

Emani Jordan, a senior exercise science major from Chicago, Illinois, received awards for having the Beauty Business of the Year and President of the Year.

“It means a lot to me because I think I work so hard and nobody notices what I’m doing,” Jordan said. “For so many people to acknowledge what I have been doing makes me very happy.”

Blessa Peyton, a graduate student studying social work from Mobile, Alabama, and co-founder of the BEX Awards, said the awards were meant to give accolades to students who may feel like their efforts are being overlooked.

“We see y’all, we hear y’all,” Peyton said. “Keep going, you are not overlooked.”

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