While in past years the Martin Luther King Assembly has been a single assembly performed twice in one day for all the classes, this year presentations will be made all day to social studies students.
Todd Schaefer, drama department teacher, said, “They shifted it into a special seven-hour day on the last Friday of February, and in those hours, we’re putting together 20 kids. There are going to be five teams of four, and we’re going to try to have diversity in the groups and the history club is pulling all the research.”
Students will perform monologues and music as well as talking about black history that a student might not find a text book.
“The hurdle has been the children who were involved in presentations we were doing in the past nine years are feeling a bit slighted at not getting an opportunity to write original poetry and do that sort of presentation on a grand scale because I think they enjoyed it. It was a neat opportunity for them,” said Schaefer.
The same week on Feb. 24 and 27, students will also perform in a Black History Month Showcase.
“I have taken the drama department, and we are putting together a black history month showcase celebration which is going to be included in writer’s week. We’re going to be doing monologues, scenes from three August Wilson plays, from ‘Of Mice and Men’; we’re doing a non-traditional cast of ‘Mice and Men,’ and we’re doing a scene from ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’” Schaefer said.
Sophomore Che Askew performed slam poetry in last year’s assembly as well as in this year’s showcase during the All Write Festival.
“It’s more than about, really, just racial tensions. It’s more like about actual people, in like ‘yo, we’re free in any type of way.’ Like, we should have our own way of thinking and expressing ourselves and that does not involve race, gender, sexual orientation. We should just be free in general,” said Askew.
“The MLK assembly this year is transitioning into something the administration considers a little more educational,” said Schaefer about the assembly.
“The ultimate goal is to pretty much teach. Let people know what’s that point of all this. The whole point of this, is to give you guys knowledge that you can use upon yourself and show us that creative ways that we can express our own feelings about how things have been going on because everyone’s kind of mad about Aaron Gardner, Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin, but it’s not just about them. It’s about we need to change in ourselves before we can see changes in society as a whole,” Askew said.