Black Student Union recognizes Black History Month with play

Black Student Union will recognize the historic struggles of the  African American community with its first annual black history performance at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The theatrical piece was written by the Director of Public Relations for BSU, Larry D. West III.

The play demonstrates African American history beginning with its roots in Africa and progressing to present day.

The performance will combine dancing, singing and poetry to demonstrate African American history.

Topics covered include African dancing, slave trade, plantation life, the civil war, reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, Jim Crow laws, multiple activists, civil rights, and the evolution of music.

West wrote the play as a way to demonstrate and teach African American culture in an enjoyable way through arts and entertainment, and to try to get students involved.

“The play allows you to learn something new, or reinforces something you have already learned,” West said. “It also entertains you while you’re learning, rather than sitting in a class.”

The play depicts many symbolic moments in history and emphasizes the importance of black history. West said black history is very important to him.

“Black history means understanding where you come from, respecting where you come from, and using that as a means to power you forward into the future,” West said.

In November, West arranged a cast of 25 members, who began rehearsing in December.

Junior Precious Holmes, who plays the roles of Mammie Till and Harriet Tubman, said she is excited for the performance.

“We put in a lot of practice, once or twice a week for about three to four hours,” Holmes said.

The play will be memorable for West since it was the first play he had written.

“It’s good to see [Larry West’s] dream come true,” Holmes said.

BSU plans to turn the presentation into an annual event.

West said he hopes the play will help expand the organization to a more diverse and exclusive audience.

West has already written a second play, titled “I Hurt Too.” This play explores different racial ethnic identities and will be performed at the next BSU presentation.

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