BSU Showcase: Back and Better Than Ever

Rebekah Barrera, Staff Writer

   After months of preparation, the night of PPCHS’s Black Student Union Showcase was finally here! February 24, 2022 was a night of true significance as the audience and performers came together, filled up the R.O.G. theater, and celebrated Black pride before anything else.

   With the showcase themed “Only Time Will Tell,” BSU and other students took to the stage to present the progression of Black culture throughout history — and they quickly brought the crowd up from their feet while doing so.

   Starting off with the 17th and 18th centuries, the showcase opened with a history skit by BSU club members, followed by senior Samantha Lowe’s poetry reading about deeply rooted racism. Sophomore Anaya Andre then went center stage to sing “Stand Up,” honoring Harriet Tubman’s work in freeing enslaved African Americans. She explains that “When [she] first heard this song, [she] was moved by its empowering message for the Black community to come together in unity.” Without hesitation, she decided to use the talent in her vocal cords to be a voice for her people.

Photo by Jeinily Bencon

   Going forward on the timeline, Fashion Club introduced the Harlem Renaissance as they strut with class down the stage. Their snazzy outfits — feather boas paired with satin dresses and fedoras with tuxes — showed off the freedom of the Black community during the iconic era. Passing down the jazz club vibe, Charter’s very own Jazz Band performed “Abracadabra,” which was made even more special when emcee and BSU President Melissa Lewis brought out her prized alto saxophone to play alongside them. While organizing the entire event was a separate challenge, she emphasizes that she knows it all paid off: “I love playing my saxophone and I’m glad I could perform in my last showcase doing something I love!… I am proud we got the chance to represent our culture to the community here at Charter.”

     From here, the stage got more active as Ms.Stacy’s Dance Class put on a show with sass to Christina Aguilera’s “Spotlight”. Then, the night went on with even more inspirational songs that heard the spirited voices of the audience, like “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is referred to as “The Black National Anthem,” and “Rise Up” sung by freshman Janiyah Obas.

   Another host of the night, BSU Assistant President Kaitlyn Ayebah, proceeded to introduce the next legendary time period with Melissa: the 80s and 90s. This time, the auditorium wasn’t booming with noise from singing, but from the crowd hyping up the old school versus new school dance battle before them. With popular dances such as the Dougie, and the Jerk, this skit kept the momentum of the night going. One of the dancers, Junior Aiyanna Nixon, felt the simultaneous fun and pride of doing this energetic act, saying that “giving everyone a taste of what [her] culture contains was an amazing feeling” and she “wanted everyone to feel theemotions as well.” Sure enough, the skit brought everyone dancing with them. The decades were then finished off with Liana Samuel and Evangelin Rejeev singing “Put Your Records On”.

Photo by Jeinily Bencon

   As the night came closer to an end, the last age to spotlight was the present. Step Team highlighted the strength of Black women in today’s society with a fierce performance, which was followed by a memorable end to the event: Brothers of the Omega Psi Phi, a historically African American fraternity from Howard University, performed their own traditional dance. As a surprise, BSU sponsor Coach Willis joined them in showing off their roots. 

   As all the performers took to the stage one last time for their final bow, huge smiles spread on their faces despite the sweat on their backs from the work they put out. Although the showcase was only an hour long, it thoroughly proved that there’s great power in preserving culture.