Music, laughs and applause filled the D.P. Culp Center Auditorium on Tuesday night at the ETSU Spring Talent Show.
The event, which was sponsored by the Black Affairs Association, is part of Civility Month on campus and aimed to promote a message of unity.
Civility Month aims to empower individuals with an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity despite racial, cultural, gender and religious differences.
According to Jeremiah Pearson, vice president of the ETSU Black Affairs Association and mastermind behind the event, the original idea was for the show to be part of Unapologetically Black, but it ultimately changed to celebrating diversity and unity due to the March scheduling during Civility Month.
Contestants were of a variety of races, and brought unique performances with them.
The event kicked off to a full house with a beat boxing rap battle opening that included tossing free t-shirts into the audience.
Acts included a variety of musical genres, dancing and spoken word.
To determine the first, second and third place winners, three judges were present to critique contestants in several categories.
The host for the evening was reality television and rap star, Miss Mulatto.
Aside from Mulatto, celebrity performances included rappers C White and Bandit Gang Marco.
First place winner was Bria Woods, who performed a powerful spoken word. She was given $100 prize money and a trophy for her performance.
Second place went to Tamika Evans, who sang a cover of James Bay’s hit song “Let It Go,” and third place went to Diversity Inc. for their dance performance.
Pearson said the hope is that more events like this will take place in the future on campus.
Both single and group acts participated in the show, an idea that was incorporated to celebrate the individual talent of the contestants.
The event was open and free to the public, and ultimately had a positive turn out.
As the event ended and winners were announced, many in the crowd participated in the group celebrity performance and later lined up to take pictures with the show’s special guests.
Multiple other events will take place throughout Civility Month, including a lecture by Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., on March 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the ETSU Brooks Gymnasium.
To summarize the message behind the event in one quote, Pearson says, “Unity makes the world go round.”