RHS celebrates African American Heritage

Story and photo by Suzanne Smith

The month of February has much more to it than pink greeting cards and
candy hearts – it’s African American Heritage Month, and with the
inauguration of the nation’s first  black president, this year takes on
particular importance.

The Multicultural Club at Ramstein High School organized a special performance Feb. 19 to celebrate African heritage. The club, which puts together these celebrations regularly, is dedicated to encouraging young people to embrace diversity.

“It is a club objective to celebrate all of the cultures,” said Lynn Anyangwu, the sponsor for the Multicultural Club. “It’s a way for people to understand each other better.”

This year’s show was full of gifted performers from Ramstein, including several singers, the RHS Step Team, the RHS Choir and performing poets. The highlights, however, were the special guests: Mohad, a drummer and dancer from the Republic of Benin in west Africa, and Lada, his accompanist, based here in Germany. Ms. Anyangwu said she thinks inviting these ethnic performers is a great way to open students up to new experiences.

“It’s not often that they get to see a live drummer from West Africa or a real African dance, so its great for the student body, and they’re always excited after the show that they saw something new,” she said.

The Multicultural Club has been arranging these performances for the cultural months for the last two years and plan to continue to do so. Their next celebration is Asian Pacific Islander Month, which takes place in May.

“We’re going to try to make it a tradition, as long as I can keep the club going and get the students to help. I wouldn’t have been able to do this show without the students working hard, and as long as I have people willing to help out, we’ll keep doing it,” Ms. Anyangwu said. “Putting on a show like this to celebrate the diverse culture that is African – it’s a joy for me.”