Lights, Camera, Dance! A lively performance in the spirit of black history month. A show the whole school attends, the Black Student Union annual assembly.
This is a time where Atholton High School puts on a show to celebrate the achievements of African Americans, recognize their role in society along with their impact on the world, and to raise awareness for the inequality that still exists today. Many students don’t know much about black history month, so that’s what the performance is for.
On February 22, 2018, at 12:25 PM and 1:20 PM, BSU members of Atholton High School performed in the auditorium as an assembly in honor of black history month. There were two sessions students held. The first session was during 5th period and the second session was during 6th period. The performance consisted of various dance scenes, speeches, raps, singing, poetry, and also the incorporation of plays.
To start off the assembly, three students who portrayed an African American family. The children talked to their dad about questions they have regarding their race. World War I was a significant point in life where blacks were not treated with respect at all. They were inferior compared to the caucasian race who saw themselves as superior. Kids during this time experienced so much racism and discrimination during their lifetime.
As the show went on, there were was a reenactment of an African American soldier returning from World War I who was meeting with his wife once again. Black wives would take care of the children and the household while the husband is out in a war risking his life. Imagine the feeling of thinking that your significant other will not return home after going to war, especially considering he fact that blacks sacrificed themselves during battle. It was really a miracle to see your husband come back from a devastating battle where their lives aren’t valued highly.
During the performance there were many influential raps, songs, and poetry preformed that spoke truth about African American history. “I felt very empowered,” said Sophomore Chima Anyanwu, a speech giver. These works of art incorporated rhymes that gave power to the words spoken, giving them more of a meaningful effect. The raps and poetry basically talked about what it was like and what it is currently like living as an African American in society. Blacks were made fun of for what they look like (hair, skin color, face structure, etc.) and the stereotypes enforced (uneducated, ghetto, thuggish, etc). This demonstrates how far the black community has come, as can be seen by the various successful African American figures. “I think black excellence is a big part of history in terms of the achievements of African Americans,” said Sophomore Makayla Gravely-Smith, an actress in the assembly. The focus of the assembly was to show that despite how African Americans have been portrayed in the past, their contributions are immeasurable.
The dances that were conducted were also very entertaining. There were multiple groups of students who had coordinated dances to songs from New Edition and popular male and female R&B artists. “We put in a lot of hardworking hours into the assembly in order to perfect the dances, speeches, etc., so overall everything went smooth,” said Junior Cedric Briken, a dance performer. These structured dances displayed an example of lively black culture. The culture of African Americans is very unique in terms of the types of dance moves executed and the type of music created. Also, many different instruments are used in order to give off an extraordinary sound. The clothes worn during the dance scenes portrayed the variety in clothing that African Americans wore and currently still do, from afros to skinny jeans.
“I felt empowered on stage and I feel as though black justice must be enforced in society,” said Anyanwu. These words tell a story in justifying exactly how African Americans still aren’t treated fairly, although it has improved significantly from earlier years.