Students perform at MLK Celebration

Sophomore Myah Bradford, sophomore Tanzania Bates and senior Aysha Gray perform with the WGHS Step Team at the MLK Celebration at Givens Elementary. Photo by Donald Johnson

WGHS Step Team performed in the MLK Celebration last Sunday, Jan. 20, at Givens Elementary.

The event serves as a platform to honor the life and work of Dr. King and the impact he has had on the community.

Beginning at 4:30 p.m. from City Hall, the one-mile march to Givens Elementary kicked off the celebration. The march was followed by a dinner reception at 5 p.m. free of charge. The Community Celebration program started at 5:45 p.m., and included song, dance and spoken word.

Rev. Tracy Blackmon, pastor of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant was the keynote speaker of the program. Rev. Blackmon spoke on creating “bridges, not walls.”

The Webster University Chamber Choir performed, as well as the Step Team.

Dressed in all black, the team first stepped out to the theme song from “A Different World,” by Aretha Franklin.

Step Team veteran, junior Tanys Giles, was enthusiastic about their performance.

“I think it went well, because it was new we had never actually done that performance before, but we be thought it went really well,” said Giles.

The theme of the performance was to “relay the history of black colleges and history of step,” said Giles.

The team’s performances always have significance to the events in which they are performing at. For example, at last year’s All Write festival, the team performed to spoken word by black poets or writers.

Regarding the significance of performing in the celebration, Giles said, “It meant a lot (to me) because we haven’t gotten as much recognition as we should have, and this year we have gotten way more and people actually want us to come to performances like this. Being able to step in front of a lot of people and higher up people, like Dr. Simpson, was really cool. I think it’s good for us.”

Dr. Simpson spoke at the event, introducing the various performers, scholarship winners, and speakers.

Several district students, including freshmen Sophia Nittinger and Matt Good won cash prizes for essays they wrote regarding ways to better the community.

Although the public was encouraged to attend the 24th annual celebration, attendance was lower than previous years due to weather.

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