‘Jammin’ at Harpo’s Juke Joint
Pan-African Student Resource Center celebrates history through music
February 26, 2017
Filed under Arts
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On Friday night, ‘Harpo’s Juke Joint’ transformed the University Student Unions Los Angeles room into a scene straight out of the “The Color Purple”. In the days prior, it was marketed heavily by the organizer, Shanique Davis, an Engineering major and Program Coordinator of the Pan-African Student Resource Center which is a part Cal State LA’s Cross Cultural Centers. “We are making our own juke joint to celebrate where black folks began music in America,” said Davis. “So come in your best 1920s style and let’s celebrate our history.”
From the unique yet inviting set lighting, to the two amazing songstresses ‘Sangindiva’ and Andrea Jones, a Cal State LA alumna to the soul food feast with all the fixings, the event did not disappoint. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., event attendees were entertained by the two singers, who sang alongside a band, which included a woman on drums, one gentlemen on base and the other one on saxophone.
After devouring a second helping of the feast: greens, yams, fried chicken, fried fish, cornbread and a peach cobbler dessert, which was all catered by the Watts Coffee House, the people moved from the tables to the dance floor.
The singers sung a number of blues hits from back in the day that had the crowd moving. However, when they covered more contemporary songs from the likes of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, you better believe that the crowd joined in for the fun. When the band began to play the tune of Badu’s hit “Afro”, the crowd joined in. “You need to pick yo afro daddy, cuz it’s flat on one side,” followed by “yesss” from the crowd, quite pleased with the repertoire.
It happened again when ‘Sangindiva’ dared to ask what seemed to be a silly question: Anybody in here like Lauryn Hill? As one would expect from the crowd, the room erupted with multiple “Yes!” and the beat to Hill’s “Ex-Factor”. The crowd sang along putting all of the effort during the chorus to hit the notes. “No matter how I think we grow you always seem to let me know it ain’t working.”
In between songs and sets, event goers were grabbing food outside, taking lots of photos and updating their social media stories, and most obvious, fellowshipping with other students and a few Cal State Alumni who came to support the event. The energy among those who attended the event was inviting and positive which reflected the vibe of organizers.