Entertainment, IN SEE Culture

Book Black Women’s Yaya’s Amateur Night Evoked Great Memories of Showtime at the Apollo

On Thursday, April 11, 2024, Book Black Women, Inc hosted Yaya’s Amateur Night, a community-driven event, at the Cape Fear Regional Theater. Visionary, Ayana Washington, the founder of Book Black Women, Inc, made this spectacular event possible with its reminiscent of Showtime at the Apollo. Washington’s platform not only provided a stage for local talent but also celebrated the rich cultural nostalgia of Harlem’s most infamous stage, a stage where music legends performed and talent was discovered. Dr. Sonny Kelly, the event host, fostered a strong sense of community with his engaging presence, creating an atmosphere of fun, laughter, and connection.

The evening was a testament to the diverse talent in our community, with participants like Marie Elaine, Lisette Rodriguez, Ace Brown, Garrett Johnson, Sha’Air Hawkins, Mytia Washington, Ashley Jones, Keith Sowell, and Marie Jean Jr. Other artists outside of Fayetteville included Lee Jean Jr., the American Idol Top 8th Finalist in Season 15, and poet Thunda Khatt, who previously performed for Book Black Women’s Trap and Poetry, came as far as New Jersey, delivering an uncensored poem that took the audiences’ breath away. Let’s say she gave the crowd a warning and gave them the option of going classy or raunchy.

Host, Dr. Sonny Kelly engaging the crowd; Photo Credit: Tracey Morrison/The Exclusive Press

Each brought their unique flair to the stage, enriching the event with their performances. The live band, NiiTO, added to the vibrant atmosphere with their popular R&B tunes, getting everyone, including the judges, on their feet and dancing.

Singing, poetry, skits, and stand-up comedy were among the artistic forms showcased. In the event that the spectators failed to appreciate the theatrical skill, Harold Cousar entertained them with his hilarious performance as “The Sandman.”

The final three contestants; Photo Credit: Tracey Morrison/The Exclusive Press

With the help of the enthusiastic crowd, the judges reduced the field to three finalists. The active participation of the audience made the event even more engaging. The audience, with Demetria Davis glamming up the stage as DD Shepard, chose the ultimate victor. Singer Ashley Jones received the grand prize of $1,000 in cash for her performance of Jazmin Sullivan’s “In Love with Another Man.”

L-R: Contestant Winner, Ashley Jones, and Ayana Washington, Founder of Book Black Women, Inc; Courtesy of Ayana Washington

Yaya’s Amateur Night was for culture, as this event evoked childhood memories for the writer, who grew up in the 1990s and was an avid watcher of the Apollo just about every Saturday night. Book Black Women, Inc brings the Apollo Fayetteville style also to reignite great flashback moments of some of the writers’ favorite 90s artists, such as the Fugees, Jodeci, SWV, Soul for Real, Wu-Tang Clan crowd-driven performances, and Apollo’s front-in-center fan Eva.

Other events hosted by Book Black Women, Inc include A Candlelit Christmas Concert, the premiere of last year’s movie at the Cameo Theater, The Color Purple, and Trap-n-Poetry.

If you want to attend future events and know what’s happening, click on the highlighted social media link to follow Book Black Women, Inc. on Instagram and Facebook.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.