The 2020 Black History Month Celebration

“This show is meant to celebrate the African American excellence in the walls of our school. These students are being given a platform today.” -Sheila Esshaki

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Lynn Lam

Zandrea Smith, '21, performing an original poem.

Lynn Lam, Social Media Manager

   The 2020 Black History Month Celebration was a fitting end to Mrs. Esshaki’s time teaching at LCN on February 6th. The annual celebration is run by the Diversity Club, sponsored by Mrs. Esshaki. The show this year was run by Charis Fair, ‘21, and Zandrea Smith, ‘21 led the show as the chair and coordinator. As Mrs. Esshaki stated in a speech beginning the show, “This show is meant to celebrate the African American excellence in the walls of our school. These students are being given a platform today.”

   The bulk of the show featured original poems being read. Kiara Hayes, ‘22, performed “Ignominy,” Darius Love, ‘21, performed “Challenges,” Opal Jackson, ‘21 performed “I’m Tired,” and Zandrea Smith performed “The Good, Bad, and the Ugly.” Each poem beautifully explored the shared struggles of the black students at this school, and validated many people’s experiences of injustice due to their race. Their poems called on others to rethink their views on other races and called for action. They also gave the audience an intimate perspective, as they were original poems built upon the personal experiences of the students writing them. Jackson in particular had the crowd-pleasing line in her poem, “I play shot put on the track team, I’m in Diversity Club, and you can find me working at your local Dunkin’ Donuts!”

   Students also showcased their musical talents. Chariel Showers, ‘23, performed a medley of songs, Araja Cherry, ‘20, and Kevin Lane, ‘21, sang “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Krishendu Crenshaw, ‘23 performed an original rap, and Cherry, Makiyah Terry, ‘21, Darienne Johnson, ‘20, Megan Erve, ‘22, and Showers sang a slave spiritual called “Wade in the Water.” Each of the performances stunned the audience. Crenshaw’s rap song especially surprised people, considering that he managed to write and perform an entire rap in front of the student body as a freshman. The performance of “Wade in the Water” was also an audience favorite, displaying the raw talent as the women harmonized perfectly.

   Other performances include the dance led by Khadijat Moshood, ‘21, Kaosarat Moshood, ‘23, and Shelby Bain, ‘20, that incorporated modern and African dancing. Smith, Howard, Cherry, and Savannah Marble, ‘22, led a show modelling African Hair styles, walking through the cafeteria. The show was closed with Devyn Jones, ‘20 and Jasmine Hunter, ‘20 leading a dance incorporating prominent African American songs and moves. They invited the audience to join in the “Evolution of Black Dance.” All the performances captured the black community of this school and enamored the audience.