WHS Multicultural Club members attend "Rhapsody in Black" at Lied Center
Program engages students in thought-provoking discussions on racism in America
From the Lied Center's website:
"Inspiring, thought-provoking and linguistically awesome, this spellbinding production follows writer/actor LeLand Gantt's personal journey to understand and eventually transcend racism in America. From an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of Pennsylvania, to his career as an actor, Gantt's performance is sure to spark conversations and leave a lasting impression."
"Can we rise above our prejudices with honest conversation? . . . LeLand Gantt trumpets a resounding yes." --Huffington Post
The audience was presented with two real challenges to consider:
1) We can avoid discussions about racism or we can engage in discussions about racism.
2) Inner-reflect about our own biases is crucial in promoting cross-cultural understanding
After the performance, Mr. Gantt opened up the floor for a discussion, seeking questions from the sold-out audience.
WHS senior Spencer Clark asked a seemingly simple question: "Do you have any kids?"
Mr. Gantt's response: "No, that ship has sailed, but I get to be the coolest uncle and my wife gets to be the coolest aunt. You are all my kids."
The audience let out a collective "awww," but all students agreed that at that moment during the performance, they truly did feel like a family, a family ready to get out and address these hot-topic, sensitive issues currently plaguing our society.
"I thought the performance was perfect. I wish the entire student body could see it," Didier commented. It definitely left all of us with some heavy, yet encouraging information to digest. Everyone left with something to think about, that's for sure. From my perspective, one of Mr. Gantt's messages was something that I try to remind people of daily: We can do so much more together as one human race."
Student thoughts included the following:
“It was different from any other lecture on racism we have ever had. He gave us a great piece of advice: ‘if you see something, say something’ and ‘We get to choose if we want our generation to be fantastic’.” –Maddie Rappl, junior
“Being able to hear stories of racism firsthand really opened my eyes to things I myself may not encounter everyday; however, just because I don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.” –Emily Obert, sophomore
Sophomores Anna Dobesh and Shelby Griego shared similar thoughts:
"I'm glad for the chance to hear Mr. Gantt's personal story. He pointed out that although we may not see it in our everyday lives, racism is still hurting people, and it shouldn't be ignored. That was important to hear." –Dobesh
“It was interesting, I learned there are more problems with racism in the world than I thought there were. I also learned that if you see something that’s not right, to say something.” –Griego