同乐城官网 www.xyqp168.com Wednesday mornings provide JAGS students the opportunity to express their pupil voice by delivering assemblies to the whole school on topics that matter to them.
Earlier this month, sixth form pupils Kayah, Bella, Ella, Portia and Isabella delivered an assembly on the importance of black music.
In their introduction the students emphasised that the assembly’s content should be seen as important for the understanding of world history, rather than black history. Kayah suggested that there is an absence of the varied experiences and discoveries of black people within traditional education:
“Too few of us know about the work of Fannie Lou Hamer to secure Voting Rights for African Americans, or about Ida B. Wells’ leadership in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Too few of us have learned about the efforts of labour leader Asa Philip Randolph who worked alongside Bayard Rustin to organize the March on Washington. Too few of us have read the novels of Octavia Butler, the essays of James Baldwin, the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, or the plays of August Wilson. Too few of us know of the mathematical genius of Marjorie Lee Browne and Katherine Johnson or the scientific contributions of Joseph Graves and George Carruthers.”
The students encouraged their audience to recognise the ‘moving and mobilising’ impact that prominent black musicians have had on the world of culture and politics. From an analysis of Billie Holiday’s, ‘Strange Fruit’, written in 1939, to more recent songs from artists such as NWA in the 1980s, to Michael Jackson and most recently, J. Cole’s ‘Be Free’, in 2014 and Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ in 2018.
In celebration of the importance of black artists in our world, after an extract from a speech from Martin Luther King about hope, the VWA rejoiced in the sound of Stormzy’s ‘Blinded by Your Grace’. All students and teachers enjoyed the uplifting rendition, serving to confirm the importance of black history and culture for everyone; a triumphant affirmation of the initial sentiment of the assembly.
The event was a fantastic way to start the day and we thank Kayah, Bella, Portia, Ella and Isabella.