On Wednesday, Feb. 28, the Manual Drama Club presented the 17th annual Black History Month program, “Black History… Our History: Reclaiming My Time,” in the auditorium.
Mrs. Nicole Finley (English), sponsor of the drama club, said that the students had been practicing for around 10 hours a week until the program began. The theme focused on re-claiming personal voice, as well as inclusion, exposure, honesty, transparency and the future.
Students from all magnets, grades and backgrounds were able to participate in the program by performing their own music or poetry, but also by reciting historical speeches and moving songs. Overall, 34 Manual students were involved in the performances for the program, such as “What is Your Life’s Blueprint?” by Quintez Brown, “I Believe” by Eve Williams, “Somewhere in America” by Anna Sprau, Lauryn McWhorter, Destine Grigsby, and “Safe in His Arms” by Sydney Finley.
“The speech [What is Your Life’s Blueprint?] came from a book titled “A Radical King,” which is a collection of various MLK speeches. The difficult part was preparing for it [the speech] was trying to cut it from 20 minutes to 5. The speech has a lot of inspirational and motivating words, especially for black students,” Brown said.
The diverse group of students that were included in the program allowed it to be more culturally focused than previous years. Aubri Stevenson (11, HSU) worked back-stage during the program and made sure that the technical aspects of the show appeared properly.
“The program means exposure; exposing what Black History really is, instead of what they teach us in History books, like this is our culture: singing, dancing, having fun, wearing our head scarfs, our dashikis,” Stevenson said.
The program received an extremely large turnout from the Manual community and will return next year.
Evan Farmer performs “Made in America” alongside fellow senior, Kevon Baker. Photo by Grace Bradley.
Brooklyn Ranklin sings “Feeling Good” to students in the crowded auditorium. Photo by Grace Bradley.
Kiki Muldrow prepares to grasp the audience’s attention. Photo by Grace Bradley.
The McFerran Steppers focus on facials while performing at the Black History event. Photo by Grace Bradley.
The McFerran Step Team wows the students of Manual once again. Photo by Grace Bradley.
The McFerran Steppers kept the crowd excited throughout their routine. Photo by Grace Bradley.
The McFerran Steppers pause before starting their energy filled routine. Photo by Grace Bradley.
Monet Jackson (YPAS, 11) pumps up the crowd during the cheerleading team’s performance. Photo by Grace Bradley.
Ce’Asia Williams interacts with audience during an energy filled routine. Photo by Grace Bradley.
Lauryn McWhorter (11, HSU) raises her voice while reciting “Somewhere in America.” Photo by Grace Bradley.
Destine Grisby (YPAS 11) speaks out during “Somewhere in America.” Photo by Grace Bradley.
Kyra Welch (11, HSU) stands strong during the Step Team’s routine. Photo by Grace Bradley.
The Dreamers get the crowd excited with a fierce performance. Photo by Grace Bradley.
Ce’Asia Williams speaks out about where she is from while reciting “2111.” Photo by Grace Bradley.
Sydney Finley sings “Safe in His Arms” during the Black History Month program. Photo by Grace Bradley.
Eve Williams (YPAS, 12) hits a high note while performing “I Believe.” Photo by Grace Bradley.
Eve Williams (YPAS, 12) stuns the crowd with her vocals. Photo by Grace Bradley.
Sean Waddell and Jania Gomes-Moniz finish their performance of “Change is Gonna Come/Spoken World.” Photo by Grace Bradley.
Jania Gomes-Moniz begins a performance with beautiful singing. Photo by Grace Bradley.
Most of the crowd turns on their flashlight during a moving performance by Sean Waddell and Jania Gomes-Moniz. Photo by Grace Bradley.
The audience members wave their phones as Janie Gomes-Moniz sings. Photo by Grace Bradley.