Sons of Africa Super Bowl Reflection
The Sons of Africa is private affinity group for black and latino males on campus that has existed
since 1993. Black and Latino males face many obstacles integrating into a predominantly white college.
Black male college completion rates are the lowest among both sexes and racial/ethnic groups. Even
males that attended strong high schools prior to their college career struggle in college. In collegiate
institutions (in addition to nearly every other sphere in their lives), black and latino males routinely
encounter racist stereotypes and microaggressions that aggregate in obstacles that impedes their
achievement and sense of belonging.
Sons of Africa exists to help black and latino males navigate the effects of these barriers by
providing cultivating a sense of kinship that members can draw upon for support during their four years of
college. We seek to provide academic, social, and emotional guidance in a space where male students of
color can feel comfortable and accepted. While there are many well meaning and effective organizations
on campus that are designed to guide students through college, our space is unique because of the
simple sense of affirmation and validation that comes from seeing others who look like you working
towards similar goals. The Sons of Africa works to build a strong community among the Black and Latino
males on campus within the Haverford community.
In past years Sons of Africa has been defunct due to a lack of organization amongst
upperclassmen. This year has seen the beginnings of a revival as many upperclassmen have convened
to resurrect this essential organization. During the first semester several upperclassmen and As a result,
there are three new official Co-heads of the group: Brandon Alston ‘14, Dawit Habetamarian ‘15, and
Marcus Levy ‘15. We attempted to have a more equitable style of leadership in which responsibility was
spread out between every single member, but decision making was an inefficient process. We tried to
launch events in the past under this style of leadership but due to time, weakness in member
commitment, and lack of focus we decided make a change. We centralized the decision making ability to
three Co-heads in order to make our organization more agile and move more quickly and efficiently in
decision making. As a group we are attempting to inject life into this club and reinvigorate interest with
new events and activities. We wanted to build a strong relationship between the Black and Latino men of
color on campus.
In addition, the Sons of Africa have struggled to recruit new members because of administrative
changes. The Sons of Africa cannot obtain a list of all of the black and latino members on campus
because of federal laws.The Sons of Africa has struggled this past year to play a role in the college
experiences of Black and Latino students on campus. In fact, the Sons of Africa has not had a formal
meeting in over a year.
One of the most significant obstacles that we have faced in recruitment is that there is a
sentiment the Sons of Africa is somehow unnecessary among many males of color on this campus.
Perhaps this is a side effect of the post-racial rhetoric prevalent in society today and the colorblind
rhetoric that can be found on campus. Whatever the reason, many males of color wish to avoid calling
attention to their blackness or latinidad. In many ways we are sympathetic to this way of thinking for it
embraces an ideal in which skin color and race are of no importance. People that embrace these ideals
are also necessary for their actualization. Unfortunately, our mission is to call attention to the hindrances
and obstacles that prevent us from achieving this ideal.
A few members of the Sons of Africa decided the best way to startup the Sons of Africa again
and reinvigorate interest was to have a fun event for black and latino males on campus. We thought a
Super Bowl viewing party would be the best way to reach out to the black and latino male community.
We chose the Super Bowl viewing party to be our first event because of the Super Bowl’s importance in
the African-American community. The Super Bowl is the biggest sports game of the year and occurs on
the first sunday of February. It is the championship game for the National Football League. This year’s
game decided the champions for the 2013 season. Traditionally, Americans enjoy classic foods such as
wings and pizza and other junk foods, root for their favorite team, and watch Super Bowl commercials
and performances during the halftime. And our super bowl game night was no different. The members
were able to enjoy a variety of wings including: teriyaki, hot, BBQ, and other flavors all the while Watching
the game and creating the traditional bonding experience through sports for American men. From my
experience, the Super Bowl is also very popular in the black community, especially among black men.
The men in the Sons of Africa are big fans of the National Football League and rooted for their favorite
respective teams all season.
The super bowl party was in some senses a way for us to become acclimated and introduced to
the new Black and Latino males on the campus, who would be interested in a group such as, SOA. Yet, it
must be noted that it was a bit Haverfordian at first, awkward, as not everyone was acquainted. But as the
game progressed, the food arrived, and satisfaction set in everyone seem to enjoy the space and the
game. It was in this space, that we were able to collectively enjoy the event, but also were able to forge
new relationships with one another and really understand who were truly the sports fans in the BCC. On
one hand, there were those who were especially excited about the game and expressed this enthusiasm
through shouting and yelling when they’re team was succeeding and failing. On the other hand, there
were those who were more reticent and committed to containing their expression. Overall, there were a
mixture of expression throughout the event, and a variety of conversations that both enhanced the
experience of watching the game, but also brought a new sense of clarity for those who struggle with
existing on Haverford’s campus.
The Super Bowl viewing party was well planned. We reserved the Black Cultural Center because
the Black Cultural Center is culturally significant to the multicultural community, has a lot of space, wellknown on campus, and has a big screen TV. We contacted all of the Black and Latino students we knew
by e-mail. We ordered food that would best give the sports feel and were traditionally eaten when
watching the Super Bowl. We ordered three types of flavored chicken wings, soda, and three large pizzas
from Campus Corner with different topics to come as the game started. We had over ten black and latino
men attend this event. James Campbell, Quinn Harding, Cruz Arroyo, Yohannes Jodemajo, Dawit
Habtemariam, Marcus Levy, Brandon Alston, Collence Nyazenga, Hector Uriostegui, Victor Medina, and
Reuben all attended the event. The event started at 6 p.m. and we all crowded around the big screen in
the living room of the Black Cultural Center.
We watched the Seattle Seahawks play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. The game
was very exciting. We watched the game and cheered our favorite teams. Most of the members of the
Sons of Africa that attended the event were fans of the Denver Broncos. Members cheered for the
Denver Broncos. When Knowshon Moreno made a 14 yard touchdown for the Denver Broncos against
the Seattle Seahawks members cheered loudly. It was enjoyable to see members of Sons of Africa
exchange jests with each other in reaction to good plays. Members engaged in conversation and joked
with one another about recent fun events on campus like the Super Smash Brothers tournament that took
place the day before our Super Bowl viewing party. Cruz and James joked about their surprising losses in
the tournament. Members talked about changes in college policies and the year forward. Whenever a
touchdown was in sight members would cheer for their favored team very loudly.
Sons of Africa Super Bowl Reflection
Reflection on the recent history of the Sons of Africa and a Super Bowl viewing party hosted by the group
Superbowl Reflection Piece