The Black Student Alliance decided to honor ESPN’s Rivalry week by inviting Tar Heels to campus for a pre-game discussion on love and lust in the black community.
Black Love, one of BSA’s major events outside of the Black Student Alliance Invitational—a weekend for admitted black students—is a tradition that takes place around Valentine’s Day every year. Students gathered Wednesday to hear panelists answer questions surrounding taboo subjects like promiscuity, interracial dating and finding “the one.” The panel was followed by a friendly competition to continue the romantic theme.
This year, for the first time, the student group decided to include students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the program to add new perspectives to the event. The competition was followed by a basketball watch party in the same space.
“This year we were grateful to collaborate with UNC’s Black Student Movement,” said Genesis Bonds, co-director of programming for BSA. “This was a great way to bring everybody together and support healthy competition.”
Duke was represented on the panel by sophomore Cherranda Smith, senior Ehiszele Osehobo, former BSA President Nana Asante, Trinity ’12, and Sean Palmer, assistant director of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture. Sophomore Darius Whitney and senior Alexis Davis represented UNC. The panelists fielded questions on topics ranging from dating culture on campus to the black community’s suppression of the LGBT community.
Audience members agreed that, although the discussions ventured into controversial topics, the conversation never became tense.
“In many ways it was entertaining, but it was also enlightening just to hear what other people’s thoughts were,” said Duke senior Joan Nambuba.
Following the panel, four couples—three consisting of two Duke students each and one intercampus couple—began a competition similar to Newlyweds, a game that involves couples answering trivia questions about each other. UNC junior Tevin Neal, who competed with Duke junior Najerie Danns, said being able to compete was the most enjoyable part of the evening.
“I honestly had a lot of fun,” said Neal. “I was skeptical about being a part of the game at first because my memory is terrible.”
He added that the sense humor of the other contestants made the experience “one to remember.”
Several Duke students in attendance were excited that UNC students participated.
“I feel like they really contributed to the conversation,” Nambuba said. “I think we learned that in many ways, our campuses are different and we can benefit from interacting with each other more often.”
There were many UNC students in attendance, but only three participated in both the panel and competition.
“I wish that more [UNC students] could come, but I’m glad we could do a collaboration because it’s always good to have different perspectives,” said Danns, also BSA chief of staff.