The Oberlin Review

For fifty years, Afrikan Heritage House’s in-person Soul Sessions have been filled with energy as the community comes together to perform, express themselves, and support each other. Now, virtual Soul Sessions share the same goal.

Soul Session Verzuz Retains Community Through Virtual Performance

October 9, 2020

With much of the Afrikan Heritage House community off-campus, and others socially distancing on-campus, residents have to take concerted steps to build Umoja. The Black community at Oberlin College did just that by translating the 50-year tradition of Soul Session to the digital space, sharing Black expression and creativity both on and off-campus. In June, a Soul Session was held completely via Zoom and despite some technical complications, it was a successful start. After arriving on campus, A-...

President Ambar Announces Presidential Initiative to Address Racial Injustice

Kushagra Kar, Senior Associate Editor

June 16, 2020

President Carmen Twillie Ambar sent an email to the Oberlin community announcing a new Presidential Initiative to educate and mobilize students against racial injustice. This announcement came six days after four Minneapolis police officers brutally murdered Floyd, setting in motion global protests against racial injustice. “I will establish a Presidential Initiative for faculty and students that seeks to address issues of violence, police-community relationships, and racial injustices,” President Ambar wrote in her May 31 email. “One could imagine courses, co-curricular initiatives, community engagements, and internships focused on the very issues that the death of George Floyd invokes. The primary goal of thi...

Fashion Show “Look Black At It” Celebrates 50 Years of Africana Studies

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

February 28, 2020

The 50-year anniversary of Oberlin’s Africana Studies department was celebrated in style at the Black History Month Fashion Show last Saturday. This year’s event was themed “Look Black At It: 50 Years of Fashion.” College third-year Jasmine Mitchell was one of the event’s key organizers. She said that the planning committee started putting the show together about six months ago. “[We began] with ideas for the theme, creating a budget to support the ideas we had, then reaching out to models and makeup artists, contacting photographers, getting a DJ, and, finally, numerous rehearsals,” Mitchell wrote in an email to the Review. “This year … really focused on the importance of knowing Black histo...

Protesters raise their fists during “Bloody Tuesday” protests at San Francisco State College. The San Francisco Express Times ran this image on the front page of its December 4, 1968 issue.

Reflecting On 50 Years of Africana Studies

November 15, 2019

Africana Studies Program Created Against Backdrop of National Activism Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief In the fall of 1969, Oberlin College launched an Afro-American Studies program, following significant student activism inspired in part by students at San Francisco State University; the University of California, Berkeley; and elsewhere. In creating the program, Oberlin joined a wave of more than 500 colleges and universities across the country that instituted similar academic departments or...

Students from Brotherhood Hall in the Afrikan Heritage House, the Black History Month Committee, and Professor of English Yago Colás hosted a 3-on-3 basketball tournament this past Sunday. Over 30 students and community members got together to celebrate Black History Month and enjoy an afternoon of pickup.

Breaking Down Barriers Through Basketball

February 22, 2019

The son of a Presbyterian minister, Randy Miller arrived at Oberlin College in 1966 as a broad-shouldered, long-limbed first-year with a gentle demeanor and keen interest in music and art — as well as a knack for shooting baskets. His roommate and teammate, Al Wellington, was a hard-nosed kid with tremendous athletic ability who grew up in a low-income family of eight from a racially segregated community. According to the book they co-wrote, Oberlin Fever, A Championship Spirit in Black and...

Soul Session All-Stars: The Alumni Edition. Justin Emeka, OC ’95, not pictured.

Soul Session Kicks Off Celebration of Black History Month

February 16, 2018

“A talent show with much more soul.” So described by College sophomore and organizer DaQuan Williams, Soul Sessions is an ABUSUA, Oberlin’s Black Student Union, initiative held in the Lord Lounge of Afrikan Heritage House on select Friday nights. These sessions are a significant part of A-House’s cultural tradition and involve a night of showcasing talent — Black talent in particular. It is a time for the Africana community to gather and celebrate their culture through any medium of the...

Established 1874.