By Christine Wong
Honoring King’s legacy and urging students and teachers to reflect upon their actions, South’s twenty-sixth annual Martin Luther King Jr. assembly was held on Friday, Jan. 13. From dancing to singing to acting, several clubs and organizations performed in the assembly, relaying interpretations of King’s message.
The first club to perform was the African American Culture Club. The club shared a Powerpoint presentation about the power of music during the Civil Rights Movement and also danced to Beyoncé’s “End of Time.”
According to club president senior Isabelle T-L, the club’s performance “set a certain tone for the rest of the assembly.” She went on to say, “The MLK Assembly means a lot to me because it brings everything into perspective…it reminds us that our work isn’t done and that there are people still fighting for their rights here in our country as well as all over the world… Every day we have to fight to make sure that we keep equality alive within our country and help those who are suffering from injustice.”
After the African American Culture Club’s opening dance, several other performances followed, including the Hebrew Culture Club, Theatre South, Exit 33, Christian Seekers Club, the American Sign Language Advanced Class, Global Angels, and Soul Sisters.
The assembly was coordinated by special education teachers Ms. Bridget Forie and Ms. Jeanette Cutone, the assistant coordinator. In addition, music department chairperson Mr. Michael Schwartz performed with the jazz band; Fran Harman and her stage crew students ran the show’s lighting, sound, and stage; special education teacher Mr. Paul Guzzone’s Career Exploration class handed out programs; and technology teachers Ms. Jennifer Scheinberg and Ms. Nicole Swerdlin helped with the videos and media; and the Great Neck TV crew filmed the assembly.
Health teacher Ms. Jane Callaghan, special education teachers Mr. Christopher Beaujon, Ms. Brianne Stillman, and Ms. Donna Nystrom, and performing arts teacher Dr. Pamela Levy also assisted with the event.
According to Ms. Forie, the assembly ran smoothly. She said, “It was a proud moment, watching it all come together behind stage and seeing the students’ smiling faces when they finished the performances that they worked hard to produce.”
Students echoed the performers’ messages. Sophomore Neil Thivalapill said, “I think Martin Luther King means freedom to all races, sexes and any minority group. He represents the symbol of equality.”