To say that Oakland Mills High School has a supportive atmosphere would be an understatement––it is evident that not only do we facilitate cultural learning and expression, but fervently celebrate the broad spectrum of ethnicities and backgrounds that meander through the populous hallways.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 marked the annual Black History Month commemoration assembly. Students combined their talents, voices, and experiences in form of dance, poetry and song to create an astounding show to memorialize black history.
With keen attention to detail and aesthetics, the performers along with the stage crew created a respectable, afro-centric feel, which brought feelings of nostalgia and astonishment to all watching.
The applause was sincere, and the attention was respectfully centered to those on stage. “The audience was amazing. During the poems, you could have heard a pin drop,” said Ms. Tucci.
Junior Sofeeyah Lloyd recited an original spoken word poem in which she discussed her views on race and cultural appropriation.
“When I spoke in front of the crowd in the assembly, it felt liberating.” She said in response. The experience that I drew upon in my poem was when I was walking in the hallway and a friend walked up to me and said to me ‘you’re a white black girl.’ When I got mad, he didn’t understand why I was mad because he thought it was a compliment. I immediately wanted to write the poem because I had to do something. I was so angry and I wanted to express myself.”
In a time of hardship and alienation, it’s essential for people to collectively embrace one another. Not only in the lunchroom nor at basketball games, but everywhere in the community. Embracing culture and celebrating diversity should
not just be a lesson, but a lifestyle. Oakland Mills High School doesn’t celebrate cultural diversity during Black History Month, but year round.
Special thanks to Ms. Yarboi and Ms. Olney for contributing greatly to the production of the assembly. They received flowers as gratitude from the participants of the Black History Month assembly.