The Black History Program was held on Feb. 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Commons. Students, family members and friends all gathered to celebrate the importance of black history.
I had the opportunity to be in four performances, and normally that would be seen as something stressful, but it was an honor for me. The program started with a quick opening address from administrator Tiffany Awkard, which was followed by a performance of the black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice.”
There were poems and skits to address inequality and ignorance. I performed in African dance with two other students representing our connection to countries from Africa.
After the incredibly delicious reception sponsored by the African-American Parent Network, we headed to the Commons for the moment we had been preparing for. Feelings of anticipation and a splash of anxiety rushed through my veins as we took our seats. Minutes into the show, my nerves began to settle and feelings of anxiety transfigured into those of excitement.
Although there were some minor bumps along the way, such as technical difficulties with the microphones, the message “OUR VOICES MATTER” came through crystal clear through the speeches, skits, and musical performances. When the time came for my own musical performance “I have nothing,” by Whitney Houston, I took a deep breath and took my place at the keyboard.
Turns out, my nerves hadn’t settled as much as I thought. Throughout my entire performance, my leg protested by twitching uncontrollably, causing me to miss notes, and start over a few thousand times. However, no matter how many times I messed up, members of the audience and my peers continued to cheer me on, truly demonstrating the theme of the entire program “Each One Pull One Back Into the Sun.”
My experience here would not be what it is if not for my participation in Wootton’s Black Student Union (BSU).
I moved here this summer, and was struggling to make friends in Maryland, when I became a member of the BSU board in the second quarter. Joining BSU allowed me to develop new friendships while working on something I am passionate about.
The BSU planned the BHMP throughout all of February, and had meetings at least once a week in preparation. The BSU board worked closely with the BSU sponsors to recruit performers, hold auditions and practices, and design the program. The BHMP preparation would have become quite tedious if not for the friendships developed during the increased time we spent together.