Volume 31



BLACC choir kicks off Black History Month assembly

Jen Bladen
Singers share their culture with the middle school during a special assembly on Monday, Feb. 27.

Black Leadership Awareness and Culture Club (BLACC) members serenaded the middle school with the African American anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, during the special assembly on Monday, Feb. 27. Along with various presentations in honor of Black History Month, the singers aimed to educate their peers by sharing unrecognized aspects of African American culture.

Since many BLACC members participate in the various singing classes, the affinity group decided to incorporate a vocal performance into the assembly. In addition to practicing individually, the singers congregated in the choir room on Thursdays during break.

Performer McKenzie Henry ’27 enjoyed broadening her classmates’ perspectives. She valued how the assembly taught students about the impact of African American culture on society today, a contrast to the classes which solely highlight African American culture in the past.

“It shows people a different side of African American culture besides what we learn in history class,” Henry said. “You hear about it in assemblies or in classes, but we don’t really get present-day examples.”

After BLACC leaders asked performing arts teacher Paul Keilbach to contribute his choral expertise to the performance, he enthusiastically accepted. Keilbach viewed the rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing as a wonderful opportunity to recognize African American culture’s impact on music.

“Being aware of what’s out there in the world makes us all better,” Keilbach said. “This acknowledges African American history and choral tradition since there is so much music unique to that community.”

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About the Contributors
Tali Gurule
Tali Gurule, Editor
Tali Gurule ’27 is an editor and reporter on the Spectrum. Gurule is passionate about news reporting. “I love uncovering compelling stories and sharing them with the Harvard-Westlake community,” Gurule said. Gurule also co-writes Wolverweek, a weekly column about life at the Middle School. Gurule enjoys many leadership positions at Harvard-Westlake. In addition to being editor of the Spectrum, she is co-chair of the student ambassador program and a leader of LAHSO and JCAAC.
Jen Bladen
Jen Bladen, Adviser
Jen Bladen has been a scholastic journalism professional since 1998: as a high school yearbook adviser in San Diego, then as a sales representative for one of the nation’s largest yearbook publishers. First from 2006-2015 and again starting in the fall of 2020, she has been a teacher and department head here. Bladen advises the multi-award-winning middle school newsmagazine The Spectrum and the Pacemaker Finalist and Silver Crown-winning Vox Populi yearbook.
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