BSU celebrates Soul Train

Bethel University’s Black Student Union put together a night of music, food and dance Wednesday, emphasizing ties to 1970s popular culture.

By Sarah Bakeman | News Editor

Bethel University students gathered in the Underground Wednesday for Soul Train, a themed dance party put on by the Black Student Union.

Photo by Hannah Hobus.

A ‘60s and ‘70s dress code was established for the party, meaning students traded in backpacks and t-shirts for flared pants, buttoned blouses and statement sunglasses. Dancers twirled each other or shuffled their arms and feet under the light of a rotating disco ball. Artists such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Kool & The Gang provided brass and rhythm for the night, serving as a reminder of its inspiration. 

The event gained its name from the music-dance TV program titled “Soul Train,” which ran from 1971 to 2006. The Chicago-based program featured performances from R&B, soul, disco, gospel and pop performance artists and dancers. Sophomore Rayven Davis has been a member of the Black Student Union since her freshman year, and she planned this event with the program serving as her inspiration.

“Soul Train was one of the biggest times where Black people were plastered all over the media in a positive light,” Davis said. “I felt like this was a good way to bring that to Bethel.” 

Photo by Hannah Hobus.

As students continued to enter through the fringe-laced doors, tins of mac and cheese, fried chicken and sweet potato pie were uncovered. Senior BSU member Tsola Onesirosan arrived in the Underground with a patterned shirt and colorful sunglasses, ready to support the event.

“It’s just a time to have fun, connect, be together and have a good time,” Onesirosan said.

Onesirosan took photos with a friend before entering the Underground, where Chic’s Good Times played over the speakers. 

Two weeks after Halloween, Bethel students still dressed up in costume and gathered for some fun, remembering the music, dance and television show that became a cultural phenomenon in the ‘70s.

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