by Makayla Tabron ‘18 | Staff Writer
The Black History Month Assembly was inspiring and eventful, but was it relevant? After a series of delays that moved it into March, “It’s not even black history month,” students commented as they walked down the hallway. Guest speaker Dr. Marcia Chatelain jokingly called it “black history month part two.”
But after a program that included student performances, profiles of notable history-makers, and a riveting question and answer with a Georgetown professor, the answer was yes. An assembly on black history is still relevant, even if it’s not held during black history month.
But after a program that included student performances, profiles of notable history-makers, and a riveting question and answer with a Georgetown professor, the answer was clear: an assembly on black history is still relevant, even if it’s not held during black history month.
“It [black history month] is part of an effort to make sure that the past is not lost on us,” Dr. Chatelain said. The history of African Americans does not cease to be important just because it is no longer February.
Many students showed this to be true with their enthusiasm during the assembly. Both those who performed, and those who watched showed great passion in participating.
When the floor was open for students to ask questions of Dr. Chatelain, they weren’t shy. They offered questions about Ferguson, racism, black history month as a whole, and Dr. Chatelain’s personal experiences. “What ways can communities build trust after Ferguson?” a student asked. Another questioned, “Why do you think when we think about black history, we think about slavery and not other things?”
Both African Dance IV and Tap I performed, showing their passion in different and unique ways.
Dana McCoy ‘16 and Ceandria Mars ’15 sung a breathtaking song from the movie Dreamgirls, ‘And I Am Telling You,’ to show the influence African Americans have had on music over the years.
Another duo, Dana Hentz ‘17 and Jaia Gillette ‘17, performed their original, sensational spoken word piece, entitled ‘Scandal.’ The resounding applause of the students were enough to show how much they truly enjoyed this performance.
Eric Powell ‘15 rapped his clean version of a Kanye West song, to show his view on the history of African Americans.
With such amazing performances, it’s clear how much passion the students have. This passion had to have grown from the first Black History assembly here, to what we have now.
This year’s celebration was the 36th annual Black History Month assembly. Black history month as a whole and in school, has progressed a lot over the years.
The first recorded Black History Assembly at Bishop McNamara happened on February 17, 1980. It was undertaken by the Black Student Union, and the ceremony involved Children of the Father Interdenominational, Robert’s Revival, Gospel Choir of Christ United Methodist Church, and the Tabernacle Echoes. Holy Cross Brother Walter Kramar spoke, and the B.S.U. had readings.
Although it was only their first black history month assembly, black history itself didn’t go unnoticed. In the same year another article was written about the role of African American students here at school.
Although Black History month has progressed in many ways since the beginning, the student passion and participation has always been the same.