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Briggs High School Celebrates Black and African-American Music and Dance

Briggs HS Black History Month dance celebration

March 7, 2023 -- Black and African American music was on display at Briggs High School as the culmination of their Black History Month celebration. After months of practicing, students took the stage to perform vocal music and traditional dances that hail from the Caribbean to Africa to the United States. 

Kendall Lawrence, the Briggs guidance counselor, worked alongside students to create the showcase. Although he was involved in planning the project, Lawrence said he wanted to give students the opportunity to develop the different elements of the program. 

“A lot of this is student-led. A lot of these students got their groups together and made the mixes and performances,” Lawrence said. “Without the students, this wouldn’t have happened.”

The showcase opened with the choir’s performance of several historical Black and African American musical selections including ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’ Students then performed traditional dances from different countries, showing the diversity of global dance styles.

Aneaya Armstead was one of the students who danced on stage and also  featured in a number that displayed the evolution of African-American dance in the United States. She said participating in the event made her feel proud of the work she and her school are doing to highlight Black and African American accomplishments. 

“This is an amazing event to have. I love that they’re letting us express ourselves,” Armstead said. “Events like this show that our generation [can] be something special. We are doing something powerful.”

Lawrence wanted this event to showcase both music and Briggs’ student body. 

“This was something we wanted to do to celebrate the culture and diversity here at Briggs,” he said. “It’s important for everyone to feel a sense of belonging and understand each other.”

During the showcase, energy from the performers and the audience filled the auditorium. Lawrence said events like this are important because they engage and excite students.

“This is what makes school a place people want to be,” Lawrence said. “We want our students to enjoy themselves, have fun, and feel represented in our school.”