(Senior Citizen Anna Greene Dell’Era First Attempt)
Beyoncé’s new Netflix documentary is giving me life! She awesomely interweaves her artistry with the awesome cultural significance of HBCU(Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Step and Marching Bands. This documentary promotes me to revisit my university undergraduate years 1975-1979 at University of North Carolina-Greensboro. UNC-G had a Black Student Union(Neo-Black Society), but it was to HBCU A & T (Agricultural and Technical Institute) that I fled to absorb African American realness. I tried out for the Cheerleading squad, and was devastated at not being accepted. I noted that the ones selected were of light complexion. I am medium brown. (Color caste system??)
Fast forward to my graduate degree work at American University in Washington, D.C. 1979-1981. I found myself fleeing to HBCU Howard University for more African American realness. I became a member of 10th World, a funky band under the direction of Joseph Walker. During my non-thesis option for my Master’s Degree in Performing Arts/Dance, 1981, 10th World even performed during my 2 day non-thesis option Master’s Degree performance. They threw down!!!!
Beyoncé prompts me to revisit my roots, reminds me of my responsibility as an artist, (even at 62 years young), inspires me to realise that I represent my people wherever I may roam, and coaxes me to uplift, encourage, enlighten, educate….and to SING and DANCE!!!!!!