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The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

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Venice Celebrates Black History Month With Assembly

Students will perform ‘Fantastic Voyage’ inspired by ‘Soul Train’ this month in the auditorium
Roxane Gama
Reading Time: 2 minutes

February marks the beginning of Black History Month—a time to recognize the impactful contributions of African Americans throughout history. 

This month, teachers and students alike here at Venice will celebrate Black History Month by bringing attention to the positive moments of Black history.

According to BSAP Climate Advocate Taylor Thomas, one of the main events planned for Black History Month is an assembly on February 23, where students have come together to produce a meaningful and entertaining play for the school. This year’s assembly is called Fantastic Voyage.

“It’s a play off of Soul Train, which is a staple in the Black community,” Thomas said. “It was a show that in the 70s introduced a lot of independent Black artists coming up like Diana Ross or Gladis Knight and the Pips who are icons now.”

The production will be performed this Friday, which will include two performances: one during Period 4 and one at 6 p.m.

Junior Elize Waters, a member of the Theater Club, will be playing Beyoncé in the play. 

“A young girl is watching a production; it’s a 70s theme, disco type game show, where her idols like the ‘Dream Girls’ are performing, which inspires her to be Beyoncé as we know her today,” she said.

“The play is supposed to fun, groovy, exciting, and all those fun things that come with 70s Black culture.”

“I am so excited to play this role—I have all my lines memorized, the costume is so cute, everybody’s dancing and singing, everybody is so talented to work with. It’s such a fun and loving community, and it’s going to be a beautiful production.”

Thomas says she wants to bring joy and fun to Black students here at Venice.

“We have a lot of things planned, because we usually do the traditional looking back into the past, but this year we wanted to celebrate the happiness and joy that our ancestors brought for us,” she said.

She believes that the way Black history is taught in schools isn’t uplifting towards Black students, which is why she is planning fun activities for Black students.

“We were going to do a lot of games, hitting a lot of eras of 90s, 80s, disco,” Thomas said. “We’re gonna have our spirit week, door contest. A lot of things that bring joy and fun to the Black students.” 

Thomas continued by stating that the teachings of Black History Month in schools are not as supportive or historically inclusive to black students as they should be.

“I feel like history teaches us more of how we were inferior instead of superior,” she said. “It never starts at where Africans were kings and queens, and we had gold and created gold jewelry, and we were sitting on thrones, and we had the riches. It just starts off with ‘we were slaves.’”

As Black History Month is just beginning, schools should bring forward the lessons learned, the stories shared, and the legacies honored. People need to advocate awareness and support for Black experiences not just in February, but every day of the year.   

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