The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The COCC community shows their talent in honor of Black History Month

Photo by Serena Zohbe Garcia

In celebration of Black History Month and the 2023 Season of Nonviolence, Central Oregon Community College hosted a Black Excellence Talent Show last Saturday, Feb. 11. Students of COCC and other community members displayed their many talents for the community to see.  

The talent show was held at the Pinckney Performing Arts Center in Pence Hall. The students and community showed off their talents from opera singing to a Michael Jackson impersonator. Concluding the talent show, was a spoken word performance by Central Oregon artist, Mosley Wotta. The crowd cheered for the different presenters through the night. 

The Broadside spoke with Marcus LeGrand, COCC’s Afrocentric Student Program and College Prep Coordinator regarding the event. 

The Broadside: Was this year the first Black Excellence Talent show hosted by COCC? And other than you, who helped make it happen?  

Marcus LeGrand: Yes, this was the first Black Excellence Talent show that I’ve known of since being at COCC. There have probably been other talent shows, but I called this one the “Black Excellence Talent” for a reason. We have a ton of talented students in our community and many of them do not get to showcase their skills. I wanted them to have a platform, regardless of background, sexual orientation, et. cetera… Plus, I love watching them be given the opportunity to share  what gives them joy. 

As for who helped make this happen; the Art Department staff, technical support, all the schools in the district by letting students know and the college and community members helping getting the word out. 

TB: Why was it important for you to be a part of this show? 

ML: For a few reasons, including that  that leadership comes in all forms. For example, they see you fail, they see you being vulnerable and they see your privilege of giving them a platform to shine. Finally, students respect people who cheer them on and allow them to have agency, and that’s why I performed and MC’ed to make them feel comfortable. Because as an educator, you are even more than that; you are a counselor, mentor, parent, et. cetera…

TB: Anything else you would like to add? 

ML: We can’t wait until we do this again, because all students need to have outlets and I know if we provide them, they will come. Plus, we had a few people who attended saying they wished they could have performed. Finally, we have our Afrocentric Meetings on most Fridays at 11:30 a.m. in the Multicultural Center, located in the Coats Campus Center. 

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Serena Zohbe Garcia
Serena Zohbe Garcia, Editor in chief
Serena Zohbe Garcia is editor in chief of The Broadside. She started contributing to COCC’s online newspaper in 2021.

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