By: Sadie Allen, Taliyah Cooper, Sadie Irby, Emily Diaz-Reyes and Dunya Omar
Throughout the month of February, Riverside celebrated Black history through decorations, food and live performances.
On Thursday, February 23, the Black Student Union (BSU) gathered in Mrs. Webley’s room for a feast during S.M.A.R.T lunch. The room was full of students filling their plates and enjoying their meals.
“We have fruit, jambalaya, beef patties, salad, and a lot more,” said sophomore Jada Love.
Later that same day, Riverside’s cultural arts programs held its annual African-American Heritage program in the auditorium during third period.
Senior Kyla Perry presented information about musician Etta James, then members of Riverside’s advanced orchestra played one of her most famous songs, “At Last.”
Junior Natalie McClean presented information about Maya Angelou, then Riverside advanced and proficient dance students performed a number choreographed to a musical rendition of Angelou’s poem “Still I rise.”
Senior Tai’ Sean Moore performed “Revolutionary,” a hip-hop song he wrote himself.
“It was my first performance,” Moore said. “I was pretty nervous at first.
Moore is a member of Riverside’s hip-hop club. “Revolution” is part of an album he recently released.
“I was talking about my people,” he said. “Being African American and talking about violence, police brutality…the things that are happening in our generation and how we need to unite and be together.”
Junior Evan Thorn presented information about musician John Coltrane, then Riverside’s jazz band played Contrane’s song, “Blue Trane.” Members of Riverside’s theater department recited Langston Hughes’ poem, “Let America Be Great Again.”
The program ended with a presentation by Jasmine Chyna and freshman Jasmine Griffin about musicians Beyonce Knowles and Kendrick Lamar, then Riverside dance students performed a choreographed number to their song, “Freedom.”
During Black History month, Riverside club We Are Kings focused on job training for careers and motivating Black students. The club’s mission is to “decrease suspension rates and increase attendance, decrease incarceration and increase graduation rates, decrease the opportunity/achievement gap and increase literacy, empower student voice with leadership development and opportunities, monthly meetings, king celebrations, and parent/guardian engagement,” for boys of color. Mission information was sourced through a slide shared by faculty advisor David Robinson.