Photo Feature: Black Student Union hosts Black History Month Assembly 2023


Julien Payen

All the students who worked to produce the Black History Month Assembly 2023 pose with principal Carol Goddard and BSU sponsors Danielle Neely and Chad Wilson.

Watkins Mill’s Black Student Union (BSU), with help from the African Student Association (ASA), led a Black History Month assembly during third and fourth period on Friday, February 24 in the Timothy O’Shea Theatre.

Students from all classes, with permission from their teacher, were welcome to attend and enjoy musical performances, poetry readings, and a presentation on the history of the step dance.

As students entered the auditorium, freshman Lois Baffoe sang When I Fall in Love by Nat King Cole and sophomore Kwadwo Ofori-Atta sang Feeling Good by Michael Bublé.

BSU President and senior Alassane Faye gave an opening speech on the history and importance of celebrating Black History Month.

BSU co-sponsor Chad Wilson detailed the history of the Black National Anthem, and then a video of Alicia Keys’ performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing played.

BSU and ASA members read about lesser known Black activists, such as Robert Fleming Jr. Claudette Colvin, Maria Elena Moyano Delgado, Bayard Rustin, Edward Alexander Bouchet, Simone Manuel, Kamala Harris, John Mercer Langston, and Faith Ringgold.

Watkins Mill’s chamber singers performed an African American spiritual song, Jesus is a Rock in a Weary Land, which was originally released by the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem in 2005. The Choir was accompanied by chorus teacher Janna Ryon on piano.

Junior Iris Membrano, senior Jolie Mbanga, and Faye performed spoken-word poems in Spanish, French, and English, respectively, on Black pride and empowerment. Then, senior Leona Kelly performed a dance step routine, while junior Mya Cash narrated a speech on the history of step.

Following the step performance, the band performed a jazz piece. The band was comprised of sophomores Andrew Hurt on clarinet, Eric Leonard on saxophone, and Nicholas Gonzalez on piano, junior Jacob Kline on trumpet, and seniors Alvaro Moran on guitar, Tejan Bah on bass, Ezekiel Moody on drums, and Guilherme Rios on guitar. During the performance, Wilson, who is also the varsity football head coach, performed his own tap dance routine across the stage, much to the enjoyment of Wilson’s players.

Several students shared their own musical rendition of several songs, including Ray Charles’ Believe to My Soul from junior Stone Gorham, Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely from senior Nathan Campbell, and H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar’s Best Part from freshmen Nahrya Oliver and Chioma Hines to a large crowd of enthusiastic Watkins Mill students.

At the end of the fourth period assembly, Moran performed Prince’s Purple Rain on guitar as students left to enjoy lunch and reflect on the assembly.

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