February 15, 2019
Cypress Springs High School students in the African Student Association pose after performing at the school’s second annual For The Culture Showcase on Feb. 13. The students decorated themselves with handprints covering their arms and legs and Nigerian fabric around their waists, and performed a dance routine with modern African dance moves like the shoki, etighi and gwara gwara. (Photo by Lola Hasstrup, Cypress Springs HS)
By Lola Hasstrup, Cypress Springs HS
Feb. 15, 2019—Cypress Springs High School held its second annual For The Culture Showcase, entitled “From Chains to Triumph Part II,” on Feb. 13 to honor and highlight Black History through performances by students and staff members.
The showcase, hosted by Cypress Springs English teacher Gary Hill and junior Simya Washington, started with the song Lift Every Voice and Sing. The Cypress Springs choir followed with a performance before individuals took the stage for solo performances.
Those included senior Diamond Ramble, who recited Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Women, and Head Girls’ Track and Field Coach Ruqayya Gibson, who recited an original piece entitled The Inspired Ones.
Two members of Cypress Springs High School’s Young Ladies of Positive Action perform as part of the step team’s dedication to the “Divine Nine,” the group of nine historically black fraternities and sororities. The performance was part of the school’s second annual For The Culture Showcase on Feb. 13. (Photo by Lola Hasstrup, Cypress Springs HS)
Senior LaCarrius Fulce, Jr. sang Change Gonna Come by Sam Cooke.
“I chose to sing Change Gonna Come because it is a song that touches on issues that happen still to this day,” Fulce said. “It gives hope that things will get better.”
The African Student Association performed a dance routine with modern African dance moves like the shoki, etighi and gwara gwara. Students decorated themselves with handprints covering their arms and legs and authentic Nigerian fabric wrapped around their waists, while songs included Tumbum by Yemi Alade and One Shot by LasGiiDi.
“When I performed, it was like I could finally be who I am without having to hide it or water it down,” senior Oluwadamilare Bamgbose said.
Step teams from Young Ladies of Positive Action (YLPA) and Young Men of Positive Action (YMPA) also performed, with their show dedicated to the “Divine Nine,” the group of nine historically black fraternities and sororities. The performance was sectioned into nine parts to represent each organization (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.; and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.), with Hill inviting fraternity and sorority members in attendance to come on stage and join the performance.
Those included Cypress Springs staff members Sharon Stephens, Tracey Ticer, Shannon Gatlin and Nicole Crowder.
“It was very nice and an honor to see my students perform for the ‘Divine Nine’ and those who were interested in being a part of my sorority,” said Gatlin, an English teacher.