Annual LISD MLK Day celebration held on Jan. 16


Krista Fleming

Artwork representing MLK sits displayed around the Lewisville High School auditorium. Once winners from either the essay, art, photography or ceramics contests were announced, the students were called onto the stage to receive their certificate and take pictures.

LISD held its 30th annual MLK Day Celebration at Lewisville High School from 6-7:30 p.m on Jan. 16. The Black Student Union Orchestra was invited to perform, along with guest speakers and students who entered in the various MLK contests from grades 4-12.

“[There were] a lot of guest speakers really speaking on Dr. King and what he has done for the community,” senior and creator of BSU orchestra Jordyn Stovall-Finch said. “Once we performed, there were a couple of other performances of songs that Dr. King really liked or other songs really showcasing the talent of a lot of the youth that were there.”

The contest consisted of art, essay, photography and ceramics categories. Students created pieces relevant to the theme, “Living the Dream: It Takes a Team,” and sent them to LISD offices. Winners received a certificate and a cash prize.

“[My teacher] encouraged me to [enter the contest] because he saw potential in me,” junior winner Erin Chi said. “I wanted to make a piece that really represented what [MLK] fought for and what everyone knows him as today. I entered the art section and made a comic book style drawing with pencil.”

The orchestra played “His Spirit of Freedom,” a song believed to be favored by Martin Luther King Jr. and “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” a folk song used to establish an escape route for slaves in 1928.

“With the orchestra being at the MLK celebration, we really just wanted to showcase the abilities of the BSU orchestra,” Stovall-Finch said. “That’s one of the primary reasons why I created it. [It] was really to give a lot of the black students a space to express themselves, our identity and our culture.”

BSU students came up with the idea for the BSU Orchestra in September. Members sent out digital flyers in October via Webex, and the organization began meeting in the middle of that month.

“The purpose of it was a means for the black students to come together,” Stovall-Finch said. “[It was to] celebrate music and celebrate our culture through music. That was also shown at the celebration, too, through gospels that were sung and a lot of spirituals. Being able to come together is really what we were there for.”

The BSU club contributed to MLK day by decorating the halls with a timeline of MLK’s life, along with posters of quotes to represent Hebron.

“I want students to know why Martin Luther King is so important in our history,” BSU sponsor Alisha Hensley said. “I want them to think about, if he wouldn’t have sacrificed, and had a vision for peace and unity, then would it even be possible for me, as an African American female teacher, to be their teacher? Or, Would it be possible for them to have the friends that they have? And to love the [people] that they love.”