EC and CCC BSUs Capture '90s Nostalgia in Black History Month Event

David Lee ’26 (far left) and students in the Elmira College and SUNY Corning Community College Black Student Unions posed for a group image during their combined Black History Month photoshoot that captured the nostalgia of the 1990s.

The Black Student Unions (BSU) at Elmira College and SUNY Corning Community College recently held a photoshoot themed around a high school picture day in the 1990s. For the BSUs, the event celebrated Black History Month by focusing on more than just the traumas of the past and making space for “Black beauty and creativity.”

“Black History Month is about excellence and beauty too,” shared David Lee '26, President of the EC BSU. “The photoshoot highlights that black can be beautiful and makes us look pretty and handsome.”

Lee, a History and Business Administration double major, is in the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School, concentrating on Fashion Marketing. He spearheaded the photoshoot, building on the success of a similar event he organized last year.

“I want to make the photoshoots an annual event. This year, I expanded it to include the CCC BSU as a way for us to collaborate and empower each other,” explained Lee.

About 14 EC students participated as either models or photographers/videographers. Brijon Warren ’24, a Business Administration major, was among the student models at the photo shoot.

EC and CCC BSUs Capture '90s Nostalgia in Black History Month Event

Xavier Carter '25 and SUNY CCC student, Amerie Miller posed together during the Black History Month photoshoot.

“I wanted to be involved in this shoot because I am highly intrigued by fashion and because I could be with my people!” exclaimed Warren. “Everyone in that group brings me a lot of joy and I appreciate and love all of them. I want to give David Lee a special shoutout for bringing the event to fruition.”

EC students, Amani Wandolo '26 and Xavier Carter '25, both Business Administration majors, were among the event’s photographers. Miranda Waterman ’26, a Psychology major, and Jan Kather, EC Instructor of Art, also took photos while Owen Evans ’26, an Accounting major, collected video footage.

“I have two words: Black excellence,” said Carter when asked to share what the event meant to him. “I was very grateful to be a part of this photoshoot. Everything was put together to perfection and the collaboration with the CCC Black Student Union came together beautifully. Everyone’s vibes were beautiful, the shots came out great, and it was beautiful to see us all come together with our busy schedules to do this.”

“It was just a lovely experience having the opportunity to shoot some beautiful people and see the happiness that a little photoshoot could bring. What made it better was that we all got to interact and make new friends in the process,” shared Wandolo.

EC and CCC BSUs Capture '90s Nostalgia in Black History Month Event

David Lee '26, President of the EC Black Student Union coordinated the photoshoot to celebrate Black History Month.

According to Lee, while the day of the event went very well, the night before the event was frenzied and hectic. The students prepped their outfits, makeup, and hair together. Lee had his dreadlocks styled and retwisted as the other students buzzed about selecting clothes and makeup.

“But their butterflies turned into smiles when they came to the shoot,” said Lee.

Beaming, he added, “It was such a great day! The vibe was so mellow. Everyone knew what their role was and everyone left with a smile on their face.”

To see photos from the photoshoot, follow the EC Black Student Union Instagram page at bsu_ec. You can also watch the short video (best viewed on a phone) put together by Evans.

Participating EC Students:

Elmira College BSU
  • Marc Artuz ’24, Psychology major
  • Shermallie Bigot ’24, Nursing major
  • Jazmine Knox ’26, Nursing major
  • David Lee '26, President of the EC BSU, Business Administration and History major
  • Stephan McDonald ’27, Finance major
  • Daniel Mercedes ’27, Business Administration major
  • Leiram Mendez ’27, Childhood Education major
  • Nysein Reese ’26, Nursing major
  • Ava Seward ’27, Art major
  • Brijon Warren ’25, Business Administration major
Photographers and Videographers
  • Xavier Carter '25 (EC BSU member), Business Administration major
  • Amani Wandolo ’26 (EC BSU member), Business Administration major
  • Miranda Waterman ’25, Psychology major
  • Owen Evans ’26 (videographer), Accounting major
  • Jan Kather, EC Instructor of Art, also took photos at the event.

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