Changes to Lane’s Black History Month celebration

By Marilyn Muncy, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

T.A.S.T.E. has been Lane’s way of expressing its love for Black History Month for the last several years. The event gave students a chance to celebrate Black culture through performances of dance, song and other arts.

This year, T.A.S.T.E. (Talented African-Americans Showcasing Their Excellence) is being replaced by B.A.M.M., or Black Americans Making Moves.

Some familiar features of the celebration will stay in place, such as performances by Hip-Hop Nation, Mr. Flygt’s percussion class, Glee Club and Gospel Choir. Sigma Sigma Eta, a rhythm-based dance group also known as the Steppers, will also be performing.

“The way we’re approaching it this year is new,” Shania Thompkins, a member of BSA, said. “I have never celebrated Black History Month this way.”

Thompkins, Div. 882, said one of the most prominent changes from past T.A.S.T.E. events is the emphasis on education about Black culture; however, she added that there will still be performances interspersed with the educational segments.

“Everybody knows about MLK Jr. and Malcolm X and people like those, all the common people we learn about every year this one particular month. It gets redundant at some point,” said Marquise Belanger, one of the officers for B.S.A.

Belanger, Div. 983, said that the idea is to add to the audience’s knowledge of Black history, not to simply repeat it, but by incorporating topics besides the Civil Rights Movement.

“It is going to be information and performances based on the forward movement of Blacks in America over time,” Ashford-Lawrence said.

She said that she will not spoil any of the performances or other details of the event, but she explains that most performances will be based on the idea of progression of the Black culture.   

B.A.M.M. is not just referencing the physical act of dancing and literal movement, but also the progression of African-Americans. She added that there will be a strong emphasis on modern Black leaders too.

Ashford-Lawrence has been the sponsor for BSA for the past eight years, along with Ms. Reed as a co-sponsor this year. Reed is a new counselor at Lane this year, and she said she is planning on taking the role of sponsor for BSA next year.

Ashford-Lawrence is in charge of multiple tasks as BSA’s sponsor. She explained that these tasks include securing the space for the event, coordinating all performances with other club sponsors or teachers, working with security, stage crew and others behind the scenes, as well as preparing her own club for the event. BSA leads many African-American related celebrations, college tours, and social justice activities at Lane.

“I think what makes the Black community so resilient is that it takes a village,” Reed said. “When you think about the Civil Rights Movement and you think about slavery, there are the people who led that and are the ones that get the recognition, but they wouldn’t have been there, if it weren’t for all people [who] supported them like the no-names.”