Dance troupe performs to honor black history

By Jack Goldfisher

An African-American dance troupe from the Lula Washington Dance Theatre performs today in an assembly to celebrate Black History Month. Hosted by the Black Leadership and Culture Club, the dance troupe showcases “contemporary modern dance works that reflect African-American history and culture,” according to its mission statement.

“When it’s just a speaker talking about one specific experience, not everyone can relate,” BLACC president Evan Brown ’12 said. “We didn’t want the assembly to be just for the black students in our school.”

The Harvard-Westlake African- American Alumni Network originally suggested the Lula Washington Dance Theatre for the annual Black History Month assembly. The professional dance company is a part of the Lula Washington Contemporary Dance foundation, a non-profit organization for minority dance artists in Southern Los Angeles.

The company tours internationally and performs dances choreographed by Lula Washington and her professional staff.

They have “focused on using dance to explore social and humanitarian issues, including aspects of African-American history and culture,” according to the Lula Washington Dance Theatre website.

The BLACC members felt that dance is a universal language that anyone can understand, and therefore a good way to educate the general student body about black culture, Brown said.

Throughout the month of February, members of the BLACC will be wearing nametags with the names of important people, places and events pertaining to black history.

Two years ago, the BLACC employed the same tactic, however, this year they added places and events, as well as less well-known black leaders to the nametags.

“The members of BLACC don’t even know about all of the things that we’re going to have on our labels either, so it’ll be an educational experience for the people wearing them and the askers,” Brown said. “Even though they’re not the most famous, somebody did something somewhere that kind of affected the whole consciousness of the world.

I think that now it’s important for black people to educate others on the more minute things because every little person has made a change.”