The beat goes on

J’Mari HughesReporter

The second annual “The Beat Goes On” was an event hosted by Southern’s Black Student Union Feb. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Southern graduate Ashley Raymond hosted a panel interviewing four African American women on their careers, aspirations, advice for students, and later opened the audience to ask questions.

“My whole reason for creating this panel was to highlight the women that are working within hip-hop and show our community that they’re around us,” Raymond, a current music journalist said.

Raymond said it was a way to connect “creatives,” saying they are people out there just like one another doing amazing things, and might not know each other.

“It can connect them with the audience,” said Raymond, a former BSU E-board member, “and inspire and spark their creative drive.”

President of BSU, Kendall Manderville, said he was motivated by the speakers, calling their words “the truth” and saying that he now knows goals are possible. He said he wanted students to come to hear perspectives from people who are not much older than typical college students.

“They found their craft and their dream and they followed it and are actually doing it,” he said. “I respect seeing people on TV and celebrities who have been doing it for mad years and these people are just where we were not too long ago.”

One member of the panel was Brianna Régine who owns her own company called Brianna Régine Visionary Consulting. She said she hopes students who attended realized their power and that they already have the tools to be and become whoever they want to be.

“Take a chance on yourself,” she said. “Try new things while knowing that your journey is gonna have ups and downs and your truth will constantly change but as long as you know what you’re not, then you’ll be good.”

“It’s okay to be figuring it,” Sheneta Nicole, an entrepreneur and founder of My City Initiative, said. Régine agreed and said regardless of anyone’s amount of success, he or she will always have to figure their life out.

“No matter if you’re Diddy, if you’re Beyoncé, if you’re me, if you’re you every level no one knows what we’re doing,” Régine said. “We are flipping and reversing and trying to figure it out as we go and so is Beyoncé and so is Diddy. The only difference is that they have large teams to help them.”

Nicole said to those in college, do not try to put an age limit on what one can do. She wanted to pass on knowledge and exchange experiences among the rest of the panel and students who came to listen.

“Things come, everything grows in its own time, trust the process,” she said.

Régine said while unique factors make everyone different, people are more alike than they think.

“When the black community starts to realize how similar we are, that is when we’re gonna become a lot more powerful and create the change that we wanna see,” she said. “Whenever I get asked to do things like this and I know the crowd predominantly is gonna be faces that look like me, I’m hoping that someone walks away feeling more empowered than how they came in.”

Raymond said she hoped students were inspired and felt compelled to go forth in their passions with a lot more drive and confidence, and reach their goals even if they are afraid to. She said she wanted students to make connections with what they want to do and take control of their destiny and future.

“Even if they’re scared, they should be encouraged to do it anyway,” she said, “and keep making connections, and really taking control of their destiny and their future.”

Nicole said her support system and being open enough to share her success story has helped her get to where she is today.

“[We’re] smart, [we’re] pretty,” she said, [we’re] black and [we’re] beautiful.”

Photo Credit: J’Mari Hughes

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