BHM: Manual holds 17th annual Black History Month Program

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.