On Thursday morning, February 16th, the students of P.S. 276 The Louis Marshall School staged a show titled “Still We Rise,” as part of their Black History Month celebration. Proud parents and fellow students packed the school’s auditorium, at 1070 East 83rd Street, for the spectacular performances put on by the Vocal Club, Dance Club and The Queen Bee Steppers.
Principal Jennifer Troman told the Canarsie Courier, “They will wow you with a modern twist of traditional black historical music, trivia, singing, spoken word, African dance and drumming.”
The show began with a solo rendition after which the Vocal Club sang the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice.” Images of former President Barack Obama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., W. E. Dubois and Harriet Tubman were used as a backdrop for the stage. In between performances, the young host and hostess engaged the audience with trivia pertaining to black personalities such as Michael Jackson. There were also poetry recitations including “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou and other songs that paid homage to black culture and heritage.
The students, “some of the baddest youth steppers in Brooklyn,” Troman bragged, performed dances called “Black Men Rise,” “Djembe Dance,” “Rhythm Nations” and “Wade in the Water,” which were accompanied by African drumbeats. The humming and chanting by the Vocal Club in “Wade in The Water” was reminiscent of the plaintive singing of slaves.
Community School Director Carmen Webber explained, “‘Wade in the Water’ is an old Negro spiritual that’s very popular in the South,” from where both she and the choir director hail. She said the ritual of wading in water before a christening was once practiced there.
The show culminated with the playing of Bob Marley’s “One Love.”