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BSU show “A Night in Harlem” showcases Black student talent

Alex Garcia
Haley Nelson & Noelle Duplaintier react as Dereon De Shields & Jonathan Sutherland perform a song.

On Monday, the Black Student Union put on their 2024 show, titled A Night in Harlem. The play highlights Black artists and features a young adult named Jaden who is struggling with finding herself after breaking up with her boyfriend. 

The show was directed by Chloe Finley, Matisse Anderson, Jazmin Gibson, and Cody Holmes, all AMPA seniors. 

Amelya Payton & Mia Black perform the Black National Anthem in a special performance during period 6. (Alex Garcia)

The show opened up with the Black National Anthem. During the 6th-period school show, Hamilton alumni Amelya Payton performed the song with AMPA senior Mia Black.

In the show, Jaden, played by Haley Nelson, travels throughout Harlem to discover her sound. After she and her boyfriend Jermaine, played by Dereon De Shield, break up, she starts to learn about the different genres and history of music throughout Harlem. She goes to different clubs that highlight different genres exploring black art.

Acting director Chloe Finley said she tried to create the effect that the audience members were inside the clubs with Jaden.

“I wanted the audience to feel included and embraced within the show,” Chloe said.

Dance director Jazmin Gibson said that genres rooted in Black culture typically get overlooked, so she wanted to ensure that the audience was exposed to multiple genres. 

“I wanted to have multiple genres, tap, jazz, Afro beats, and hip hop,” Jazmin said. “I wanted the audience to know not to limit themselves, since they’re so used to only seeing one genre.”

AMPA sophomore Jonathan Sutherland said that he truly enjoyed his first time participating in the BSU show.

“It was a fun experience to embrace Black culture,” Jonathan said. “The show has a lot of good times, a lot of jokes, and a lot of laughter.”

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Siyana Da'Briel, Social Media Editor
Siyana Da’Briel is the social media editor for The Federalist. She is a senior in AMPA  at Alexander Hamilton Senior High. Siyana covers news and enjoys talking about local and federal politics as well as economics. She is interested in public advocacy, and using her voice to share information to people who don't have access or understanding. You can share feedback and story ideas with Siyana through email at [email protected] or on Instagram @federalistathami.

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