I am UIC: February, the Blacknificient Month   

Vic Mensa speaking with hosts

Rapper Vic Mensa speaks with event hosts at UIC. Photo: Amod Mahadik

February as been coined as the month of “Blacknificient” or perhaps “Black Excellence” by Black student organizations at UIC. In commemoration of Black History Month, UIC invited a native Chicagoan rapper Vic Mensa.

Different Black student organizations, sororities and fraternities collaborated to organize this successful event. In addition, the UIC National Pan-Hellenic Council also joined to cohost this occasion.

The theme for the month of February, “Blacknificient,” can be defined as pride, and love for Black culture. Blacknificient can also emphasizes the substantial additions that Black culture has made to this country and to society.

A Grammy-nominated rapper, Mensa is a huge advocate for social justice; his songs continually address various social injustice. The 24-year-old is also the founder of Chicago rap collective, Savemoney. Vic Mensa has shown the world his talent as he has collaborated with different Hollywood star,s such as Pharrell Williams, Kanye West and Jay Z, to name a few.

Mensa believes that the term Blacknificient is great. He gave his opinion and explanation of Black excellence.

“My dad is an example of Black excellence because to be able to create an entirely new experience in an entirely new place, with endless opportunities for your family, coming from little is Black excellence,” he said.

Furthermore, the rapper defined Black excellence as supporting Black businesses.

“Black excellence is Black-owned businesses, shopping within our community is an appreciation of Black excellence,” Mensa said.

Vic Mensa embodies Black excellence as he does not only support Black communities and businesses, but also uses his artistic talent to depict social issues.

“My song, “16 shots” dissects the situation of Laquan McDonald, “Shades of Blue” talks about Flint Michigan and the water problems,” he said.

Mensa weaving different social issues into beats and making them into amazing songs is Black excellence.


Temitope Odedoyin
Temitope Eddna Odedoyin is majoring in English and fully concentrating in media and professional writing. Apart from writing, she has have a passion for painting, and enjoys using watercolors, oil paint, acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel. She also has an interest in creative writing and short stories. She believes that art — through writing and painting — is a way of expressing one’s feelings.

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