Students shine in annual Black History Month Assembly

Katie O'Mara, Staff Writer

The start of February means many things: The second month of the new year, Valentine’s Day, and Black History Month – a month-long celebration of diversity, heritage, and for some, learning. To honor this month, St. Pius X held its annual Black History Month Assembly on Thursday, February 16. This assembly was full of entertainment and education, including music, a fashion show, trivia, and a speech from senior Asenath Asfaha.

Senior Miles Johnson, one of the key student organizers, described it as a way to “educate the masses.”

“There’s a lot of things going on. There’ll be some trivia, winners for the essay contest will be announced, and they will get duckets in the royal store (The Roar Store). And there’s going to be a fashion show. So watch out, watch out for everyone on the catwalk strutting their stuff,” Johnson said.

Johnson participated in both the fashion show, played guitar and piano alongside other student musicians, and sang and rapped with senior Adem Byrdsell. 

Another lead organizer, senior Omeno Abutu said that this event has been in the works for several months

“We’ve been trying to plan this since November. We meet weekly in the counselor’s office, mostly on Wednesdays,” Abutu said. “At first it was just like, what ideas do we want in this assembly? Like, what is the theme of it? What do we want to kind of express or talk about and  what type of art do you want to show, what type of people do you want performing? Who do you want as the MCs and then gradually, we started to structure it.”

Last year, Abutu performed Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” as a solo, which was something she said was very scary for her to do. However, for Abutu, “just to see the impact that it made on other people definitely encouraged me to do that again.”

This year she sang another solo and performed with the chorus.

For the Director of Theatre, Mrs. Tracey Buot, this event was a continuation of something she’s been a part of for years.

“At my former school, Cambridge High School, I was the lead for this celebration of Black History,” she said. “And so at the end of last school year, I went to Dr. Simpson and I said, ‘Hey, you know, I used to do this. I really love doing it. Can I help you in any way?’ She said sure. So with my background in theater and directing, I’ve kind of been shaping the event.”

One aspect Mrs. Buot was most looking forward to was the fashion show.

“We’re going to have original designs that we’re going to show up from student artists, such as senior Mia Massey has designed jewelry,” Mrs. Buot explained. “There are a couple of students that are going to wear traditional African and Caribbean dress, then there is also going to be street fashion and decades dress.”

But most importantly, Mrs. Buot is looking forward to seeing all the students’ work pay off.

“The kids, they’ve planned and they’ve worked so hard,” she said. “I am just unbelievably excited to see them be able to shine.”