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Davis, California

Monday, June 17, 2024

Culture, community celebrated at Black Family Day

After five days of performances, workshops and lectures celebrating black history and culture, Black Family Week culminated in the 41st annual Black Family Day on Saturday.

Families and students alike mingled on the Quad and enjoyed food, music and more, to celebrate not only the black community, but also the many cultural groups in Davis.

Coordinators Leo Williams and Porcha Chambers aimed to create an event that would encourage people of all ages to interact with each other and bring together cultural communities in the entire Sacramento region. Boosting attendance, which has decreased in recent years, was a main goal for the day.

“I really wanted it to be enjoyable for families and for people to come and have multiple interactive things to do, not folks waiting around for entertainment,” said Chambers, a senior African American studies and psychology double major. “I wanted there to be shopping and food and socializing and talking and enjoying each other.”

Campus groups such as African American Alumni Association, Cross Cultural Center and Lambda Sigma Gamma provided information about their services, as well as The Imani Clinic, a student-run health center dedicated to improving the health of minority and other underserved groups in the Sacramento area.

Craft vendors sold handmade wooden jewelry, dolls and artwork on one side of East Quad. A selection of campus groups sold food such as horchata, nachos, tortas and cotton candy on the other.

Chambers was particularly excited about the children’s fair, which was bigger than in past years. Kids weren’t the only ones enjoying the bounce house, crafts and cotton candy.

“[It’s] fun for the kids and I’m excited about that aspect. I get to be a big kid for a little while,” Chambers said.

Entertainment was provided by campus performers, such as female singing trio Perfect Pitch and poet Sergio Sanders, a senior psychology major who has published two volumes of his own works, titled Life Meds.

Spoken word poet and emcee Dahlak, a UC Davis alumnus, and hip hop musician Dom Kennedy seemed to draw many attendees, Chambers said.

“[People] were like, ‘Yeah, my man Dom Kennedy is coming.’ [These are] people I’ve never seen before and they’re like, ‘My roommate was telling me about it, or my neighbor was telling me about it,'” she said.

Junior economics major Mao Yokoyama came out to enjoy the festivities and a snow cone while working on homework.

“I was studying in the 24-hour room in the library and saw this going on, and it looked so cool,” Yokoyama said.

This was volunteer coordinator Deonna Anderson’s third time attending Black Family Day, and probably won’t be her last. She became hooked due to the event’s ability to bring together people from communities surrounding Davis.

“It really bridges communities, because I don’t usually see that many black people in Davis,” said Anderson, a junior communication major.

For Williams and Chambers, Black Family Day is not meant to be enjoyed only by members of the African American community. At this year’s and future Black Family Days, the emphasis is on multiculturalism and learning.

“It is a celebration of cultures and an educational opportunity for people who are not of the black community to learn and dismantle some of those stereotypes,” Chambers said. “You don’t have to be black to come, you can be whatever and still come and enjoy the day and festivities because although it emphasizes black culture, it’s more about gathering as a community.”

ERIN MIGDOL can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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