Sankofa Members Aim to Entertain and Inform in Upcoming Show


Will McKnight

Junior Sydney Davenport, now a senior, watched other performers dance during rehearsals for last year’s Sankofa performance. On Feb. 27 and 28 this year, Sankofa will showcase black history month through song, dance and spoken word.

Over the years, Sankofa has become a Shaker staple, evolving with its students.

On Feb. 27 and 28, Sankofa members will showcase black history to the Shaker community.

“Sankofa is an attempt to increase awareness concerning African American heritage and history in a school that shows a dismissive attitude and lack of interest towards these topics,” senior Sankofa leader John Mietus said.

At the beginning of the year students auditioned in music, dance, spoken word or drama. Since then, Sankofa members have been crafting skits, poems and dances for this performance.

Senior Noah Silberman has watched Sankofa evolve during his four years at Shaker.

“I really love the show,” he said. “It has become a lot more diverse and really represents our school.”

Faculty adviser Keaf Holliday agreed that Sankofa “has become more diverse through the years.” He noted that “the kids have moved away from written scripts and towards spoken word pieces.”

Holliday also emphasized how student-run the show has become, which Mietus seconded.

“With a play or musical, you just have to memorize your lines, the script and costumes are already decided. We’re creating everything from scratch, it’s pure original content,” said Mietus. “Next year, not a single thing we did this year will be reused. It’ll be a completely new show and we have to start all over again.”

After deciding what will be in the show, students practice their parts rigorously.

“There is also a lot of preparation that goes into the show. We meet every Saturday and there are rehearsals Monday through Friday for different groups within Sankofa,” senior section leader Jonathan Kennerly said.

Sankofa members perform part of their show during two school assemblies, to reach students who otherwise would not see the performance. The two second-period preview assemblies will take place Friday, Feb. 27 this year.

Sankofa intends to delight its audience and inform the Shaker community about black history.

“We have to figure out the right history to incorporate into the show, but at the same time we have to censor out what we feel may not be appealing to the crowd, and we have to give history as well as entertaining a crowd,” Kennerly said.

Comment using your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail account