A review of Black Student Union assembly


Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The Black Student Union commemorates black history. The assembly met mixed reactions.

It was Feb. 23, the last Wildcat Wednesday in February and students prepared to view a presentation, courtesy of the Black Student Union. With Black History Month coming to a close, the BSU looked to honor Black history and better inform the Walter Johnson student body.
The end product? A compilation of unfortunate technical issues, vague historical/political discussion and jarring dance numbers.
The assembly began with a 5-minute video of a few prominent members of the African American community. The video touched base on General Colin Luther Powell and Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, both wonderful points of discussion for the theme of Black History. However, audio issues caused much of this video to be completely incoherent. For whatever reason, an instrumental of Super Bass, the smash hit song by Nicki Minaj, was playing over the narration for the first half of the video. I was initially under the impression that someone had hacked the monitor or that my homeroom teacher had clicked the wrong link for the first minute or so, as the blurred narration was drowned out by the Minaj track.
“I wasn’t able to really hear much of the actual presentation at all… I don’t know if it was just my classroom, but I’ve heard others say the same. Bad audio is definitely an issue that administrators will have to look into,” junior Pablo Foley said.
This error precluded a handful of technical issues, both auditory and visual, as well as several scenes that concluded with awkward, lingering “cuts.”
The lack of coherence in the assembly, however, was easily the main turn off. There was no central historical focus for much of the presentation, and I felt as if I was dragged along from a Hip Hop dance number to a fashion show to a discussion of the slave trade in mere seconds. It was far too much to pack in a 40 minute presentation and did not allow time for any of their points to really sink in. While I understand that those are all individual elements of black history, when combined into one shapeless unit, it just comes off as rushed, especially when considering the many speed bumps along the way.
Of course, there were numerous bright spots. The WJ choir performed a beautiful rendition of “Lift Every Voice & Sing” and the presentation also included a captivating Spoken Word off of YouTube, entitled “Open Your Eyes, Do You See It.” Plus, during both the choir performance and the Spoken Word, the audio was clean and decipherable, proving the audio issues in the BSU portions of the video to be at the fault of their recording device, not the school speaker.
“I wouldn’t say I learned anything specific from the presentation, it wasn’t executed as well as it should’ve been,” an anonymous freshman said.
While the idea of an assembly to honor black history is admirable and while I’m sure the effort put behind it was significant, it simply was not conducted correctly. For this blunder, administrators are just as culpable as the actual participants.