CCHS Black Student Union features fine arts performances in Women’s History Showcase
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove High School Black Student Union held its Women’s History Showcase Thursday evening at the Lea Ledger Auditorium, honoring and recognizing women’s contributions to history through performative arts such as dance, step, singing and more.
The showcase had originally been planned for February, in honor of Black History Month, but the student organizers shifted the focus of the event to highlight Women’s History Month and honor the contributions that women, especially women of color, have made in American history.
Featured performances included the CCHS Women’s Choral Group singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, a lyrical dance performance by Amari Sneed to Cynthia Eriva’s “Stand Up”, a lyrical dance performance by Jalisha Lampkin to Joseph Angel’s “America Funeral”, a solo performance by Fatima Punzalan of Hannah Kerr’s “Split the Sea”, and a dance duo performance by Martice Greene and Latrice Holifield to a women’s empowerment mix. Ashley Butler read several poems throughout the event.
The Rising Stars Elite dance teams as well as the CCHS Step Team (C Zeta Phi-Sisterhood) also performed.
Guest speakers included Sandie Jae and Leah George, both sharing positive messages for the women and girls of society.
CCHS BSU president Arishaun Chappell said that the purpose of the showcase was to empower black women.
The theme of the night was “unifying humanity”, inspired by a Desmond Tutu quote that reads: “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”
Chappell said she hoped people left the showcase feeling connected to others.
Niya Thompson, who was one of the event emcees, said she hoped that people also left feeling that “any woman can do what a man can do just as well or even better.”
“It’s important to highlight women’s history because we do live in a male dominated society,” said Triniti Wiley, who was the other event emcee. “Men are often highlighted or even given the credit that women should have gotten for a lot of things, simply because she’s a woman. A lot of times women aren’t paid as much as men. We’re kind of put into a backlight, where they’re put into a spotlight, and it’s very critical, very serious for us to get the recognition that we deserve because a lot of times we don’t get that from modern media.”
For black women, there are instances of further discrimination and negative stereotypes that prevent them from using their voice, like the angry black woman stereotype, according to Thompson.
“For me, the showcase helps people see that that’s not all there is to black women and for women in general,” said Albreana Calhoun, who is the BSU vice president.
The Black Student Union was founded at CCHS four years ago and has been dedicated to providing a space for black students as well as other students to learn about each other’s cultures and celebrate their diversity. The organization is under the advisement of teachers Raysharon Brown, Jeni Carbone-Williams, and Jason Walwyn.