Students got more than a typical J Street dinner last Wednesday night.
Lucky Dub, a Bob Marley tribute group, filled Columbian Square with music and poetry, bringing the Black Heritage Celebration to a close with the help of several student music groups.
The audience, some of which came straight from Ash Wednesday services, danced and sang along to performances by Lucky Dub, G-D’urban, the Troubadours, the Griots and several student artists. The Caribbean Student Association and The Link – a group that helps other student organizations put on art and cultural events – hosted Wednesday’s celebration.
In the spirit of Bob Marley, “One Love” was the theme as students from all backgrounds came out to enjoy the performances together.
“This is one of my favorite events,” said junior Jordan Chisolm, president of the Black Students Union. “One thing about this event is that even if you don’t normally come out to cultural events, the music draws you in. Even if just walking through the Marvin Center, people hear the guitars, drums, singers and want to come check it out. People who wouldn’t normally come together do, and I love that.”
An up-and-coming reggae fusion group in the D.C. area, Lucky Dub opened the night with some of Bob Marley’s greatest hits like “Get Up, Stand Up” and “Redemption Song.” The crowd sang along with the group, which features three GW alumni.
“The music of Bob Marley is all about being positive, which is why we bring in so much of his influence into our music,” said Alex Aidun, who plays guitar in the band. “It’s like a movement, when others hear the music it turns into a catalyst that makes people join right in on the message. It’s great.”
And the message of coming together was heard loud and clear throughout the night.
“Events like this help you meet people you would have never met before. It definitely helps the CSA [to be] more on the map and overall the event just went really well. Everyone is up dancing, laughing, singing – it’s awesome to see everyone,” said Jacqueline Mitchell, a senior and president of the Caribbean Student Association.
“It’s a nice alternative from panel discussions and meetings,” said Russell Fugett, senior programmer for the Multicultural Student Services Center. “Everyone just handed in midterms and it’s nice to wind down at something like this while getting the cultural aspect as well.”
As the evening drew to an end, the crowd got up and danced along to the last few Bob Marley songs.
“Marley’s theory about music is that when it hits you, it doesn’t hurt,” said Benson Mensah-Bonsu, a sophomore, president of G-D’Urban. “It touches the heart.”