How BSU stepped into Black History Month


Ramya Herman, Managing Editor of Global

“I thought it was terrific and a great gift to our community”. The words of Head of School Mr.
De Jesús are an accurate depiction of the responses received following the Black Student
Union’s All School Meeting, in which eight students put on a performance to conclude the
events for Black History Month. The event consisted of a solo singing performance, a step show,
and a series of social dances. Over the course of three weeks, nine students, with the guidance
and facilitation of College Counselor Tenice Stegall and her fiancé Will Wesson, spent hours
committing step routines to memory, making alterations, and putting together a performance
worth being proud of. During the first two weeks, the group, consisting of freshman Braeden
Murray, sophomore Kathryn Githinji, juniors Briana Murphy, Ramya Herman, and Tyler Watts,
and seniors Caitlin Anasi, Giselle Annan, and Shaliya Heard, worked closely with Ms. Stegall as
she taught four step routines. Whilst the team worked on perfecting the steps, they also
memorized lines of a poem and discussed the best way to enter, exit, and maneuver on the stage.
Every person was assigned a moment in which to stand out, whether through initiating a call and
response or by having an individual portion of a step. There were also speeches assigned to
different students based on their cultural backgrounds. Due to Annan’s Ghanaian and Anasi’s
Nigerian heritages, they were given the roles of explaining the influences of African dance.
Murray, who is Lake Forest Academy’s only student from Alabama, went into a brief history of
step because of it’s deep roots in the south. During time in which some students were practicing
the step, Nicole and Mr. Wesson worked on memorizing and perfecting Nicole’s solo
performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing. After most of the step was learned and the order of
things had been established, the group enlisted the help of Jaiyenan English to create a mix of
music which they later performed a series of social dances to, inviting the student body on stage
to dance with them. Following the performance, multiple students reported getting compliments
and even claims that this was one of the “best All School Meetings” that LFA has experienced.
While it is up to each individual to determine the level of enjoyment associated with the event, it
can be generally agreed upon that there was a level of hard work and unconventionality
incorporated into the expression of the cultural experiences and values of the group.