By Valeria Bula
In the words of A. Phillip Randolf, “Freedom is never given; it is won.” These words resonate today as we look back on the activists, the makers of history, that allowed for the freedom and equality we enjoy today. It was this theme of leadership, unity, and the fight for freedom, that resonated in this year’s Black History Show. This year, and every year, we remember the struggles endured by African Americans that continue today.
Through gospel songs filled with heart and soul, raps where every lyric carried the message of strength and black excellence, and traditional, as well as contemporary, dances, the Black History Show was a culmination of beauty in celebration of African American culture.
“Performing in the show was an amazing experience, it made me appreciate my history and culture. It meant a lot to me and I’m so glad I was able to participate in an opportunity to express our culture,” said Brianna Foster, who gave her rendition of “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5 at the show.
Aside from being a moment of reflection upon past hardships, the show served as an opportunity to marvel at the talent of MLEC Jaguars’ musicians and singers, as well as artfully choreographed performances by the Jaguettes, Step Team, Kit Kats, and individual students who donned traditional attire and engaged in an African dance.
Applause and cheers filled the crowd, each performance providing insight into instances of history, each with their own message about standing up against inequality, police brutality, and advocating women’s rights.
With songs including “United Together” by Chance the Rapper and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson, spoken word slam poetry such as O Southland by James Weldon Johnson and What If I am a Black Woman, followed by dances like the Sit In and Bus Boycott by the Step Team, original and African dances by the Kit Kats, and a slideshow in commemoration of pioneer artist, Stevie Wonder— the Black History Show brought about instances of history and significant icons that altered the course of black history.
With blood, sweat, and tears poured into each performance, the show was truly one to remember. The individual performers were dedicated to their emotionally riveting monologues, dances, and songs, leaving an entire crowd of students and teachers enthralled with mouths agape in awe and admiration at the sheer talent of the performance, and the resonating message carried all throughout the show.