Black History Assembly - touching performances at Bolingbroke Academy
On Monday 10th October 2022, our school community put on an impressive display of powerful poetry, magical music, and amazing art with huge emotional impact.
How to represent the black community and recognise their struggles in an uplifting and empowering event? Is it possible to do so with such little time?
Apparently so, for the Bolingbroke community. Haja Sam and Oriah Sackey put together our wonderful assembly, which impacted many students, enlightening them about others’ struggles.
The Black History Month concert was a multi-pieced music and poetry show exclusively showcasing the work of black artists. We witnessed many amazing talents such as our school musicians to our talented poets, representing Black History Month. We did this to show recognition of People of Colour (PoC) and of the many ethnic minorities in this country that suffer oppression due to their race. Our school, as a community, strives to make Bolingbroke academy a second home where everyone is welcome and equal no matter their race, gender, and sexuality.
During this celebration, many of our students shared their own personal stories in which was contained a heartfelt message. The poems written by students or black artists were all rehearsed and performed to a professional standard. The school musicians also played a variety of songs with black artists with different instruments, voice ranges and tempos.
Someone who was involved in the concert is fellow barker; Coco Monro-hall, a music apprentice in Year 8. Some questions we had for Coco are:
I- Why do you celebrate Black History Month?
C- I celebrate it in honour of my friends' races and cultures, famous black people who are inspirations that I look up to and who struggled to get to where they are.
I- What was your favorite part about the Black History Month Assembly?
C- My favourite part of the assembly was learning and singing ‘Higher Ground’. It gave me a perspective of Stevie Wonder, the talented artist who wrote it and insight into the history of his career, as well as the emotions he may have been feeling when writing the song.
I- What spoke to you the most?
C- Naima's poem about a river. This is because it was written and spoken very well. It used clever metaphors that were incredibly beautiful.
The musicians involved had around five lessons to practice for the songs, where they were rehearsing for an hour a week. The song ‘Black’ by Dave was going to be rapped by Morgan Ruff but unfortunately, she was unable to attend the event. Ultimately, the band showed courage and came together, keeping up the tune and they did a splendid job! Some of our favourite and most talented musicians played in the concert such as flautist Zoe Durman, singer and expert pianist Sebastian Addis and Melanie Goulven, a violinist who had many drawn to her sweet playing to name just a few.
The assembly ended with a phenomenal finale song 'Higher Ground', which was particularly powerful because it was played by all the music Apprentice and Scholars. This collaboration highlighted the responsibility of the wider school community to strive to support the Black and ethnic minority communities and celebrate our wonderful diversity.
By Naomi, Sana, Mia A and featuring fellow Barker, Coco.