At the Black History Month Assembly on Feb. 28, James Burley performed a self-written rap about respecting women. During his performance, his background music turned off several times, but despite that, the crowd cheered him on and he continued the rap once the music was back on. The crowd’s reaction to Burley was respectful and appreciative and continued throughout the assembly, which was organized by the Black Student Union and included M.E.Ch.A.
When asked what the assembly’s significance was, BSU sponsor Traci Thrasher said “The most important point is that we think change can be made in our nation, through unity. We united with M.E.Ch.A. and had various of performers from different backgrounds participating and presenting in the assembly.”
Performers Sesame Manning, James Burley, Ty Martinez, Jalen Greenberg, April Cuarenta, Kayla Marie, Mya Edwards, Arshia Smith, Sofia Sanchez, Shara Wade, Caleb Wade, Will Clifford, Olivia Atlas, and Uli Peralta rehearsed for three weeks, led by BSU sponsors Mrs. Thrasher and Mr. Monoken Tesfom.
Wade and Atlas performed “I Was Here” by Beyonce. Towards the end of their performance, Wade got emotional and started crying.
“I feel really good about participating in the BSU Assembly,” said Burley, a senior at Venice. “It allowed me to open my voice and express my feelings about what I was saying when I performed. I loved the spirit. Everybody was showing love towards each other and everybody was looking out for each other and hyping each other up so I felt like that was pretty good.”
M.E.Ch.A. members Cuarenta and Peralta performed a poem that they found online that talked about how all people come from the same root.
“I want the audience to understand that we are all one people despite the fact that our country may seem to be fragmented right now because of the present administration,” said Mrs. Thrasher before the assembly. “I think that people are working together to make things better and are no longer relying on changes to come from Washington. People feel more empowered to make a change.”
“I am hoping that they’ll turn around and join clubs like ¨Never Again Venice High School¨, which seek to end gun violence in our country and that they’ll look at everybody as one and being more loving and respectful to each other.¨