Winceyco Performing Arts Brings Black History Month to Life at WTMS

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WINCEYCO’s performers bring stories such as Daisy and Elsie Bate’s to life through acting

Amanda Tague, Editor in Chief

In efforts to inspire and educate students about Black History Month, the performing arts program,WINCEYCO, presented a Black History Month inspired piece on February 5, 2020, at Winslow Middle. WINCEYCO has performed at WTMS for previous assemblies and has returned because of the positive outcomes.

“Terry Wincey has a phenomenal company that we’ve been utilizing at our school for several years,” stated Principal Nwanguma. “She covers topics such as anti-bullying, Black History Month, all kinds of cultural events, and we knew that she would bring a quality program to our school based on our past experience.”

The piece entitled “Promise” consisted of alternating musical, fact-packed scenes and acting scenes. During the informational segments of the show, founder and lead singer, Wincey, spoke on important topics such as segregation and racial discrimination. She also sang songs such as “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Turn Me Around” by the Freedom Singers and many other Motown songs such as “Fingertips” by Smokey Robinson and “Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye to celebrate the anniversary of a Black-owned label.

“My favorite part is always the Motown sound,” stated Principal Nwanguma. “It gives me a chance to reminisce and move around a little bit and have fun with the kids.”

The show commenced with a modern-day brother and sister birthday interaction to make the show relatable to the audience, then gave the audience a blast to the past. The next vignettes encompassed the stories of Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine, Thurgood Marshall’s Brown vs. Board of Education conflict, and the success of Motown. The intertwining pieces of the performance joined together to teach the history of civil rights and equality movements.

“I thought the assembly was good because it really explained what happened [in the Civil Rights Movement],” stated seventh grader, Kybron Ricks. “I never knew about that.”

Principal Nwanguma agreed due to her life experiences and prior knowledge on the topic.

“I think [students] learned a lot about the 1950s and the struggles that people went through for the opportunity to have equal education and equity,” stated Principal Nwanguma. “She brought up the importance of the struggles of Daisy Bates and Little Rock Nine. She brought that to life through the acting and also she wove the music of the time period in so it was wonderful.”

While informing students on historic topics, Wincey included many little-known facts that shocked the student audience as well as some staff. The program highlighted Daisy Bates’s last-minute speech at the March on Washington of 1963 as well as Little Rock Nine’s initial integration of Little Rock Central High School. According to WINCEYCO, these new facts were included to encourage students to make changes in their lives.

“This particular piece came from me doing some research and wanting to inspire the children, so this particular piece is about the Little Rock Nine and how some kids changed the world because my predominant audience is children. I want them to know how much power they have even at their current age.”

Throughout the assembly, staff and students were attentive to the performance. Many of Wincey’s shows use the Call and Response method which incorporates the audience into the show, keeping them intrigued and on their toes. Students participated when asked to and clapped after each scene.

“I love the audience,” stated Wincey. “They’re so much fun and they love to sing and clown and have fun… This school is very polite to me. They clapped after every acting scene and sometimes you have to tell audiences to do that.”