Crimson reds, grassy greens and bright yellows littered the flags hung across Ark Greenwich Free School in celebration of this special month. ‘AGFS’, located on Shooters Hill Road, celebrated Black History Month with its annual concert in which students performed dance pieces, drama scenes and musical acts.   


Initially starting with the fashion show, pupils strutted down the red carpet, showcasing their attires from countries such as Egypt, Trinidad and Jamaica. This was then followed by an Afrobeat dance crew who were accompanied with enthusiastic cheers from the crowd. Students also performed a drama piece from the film ‘Sister Act’ and performed the first opera piece played by an all-black orchestra.


One act that seemed to resonate powerfully with the audience was the reading of ‘I am proud to be Black’ by Issac Peters and Reigan Johnson-Hends. The reading detailed the struggles that Black people go through due to racism but also highlighted the joy and happiness that comes from being Black and having such a rich culture. When asked what the concert means to them, Issac Peters commented: “It shows that I’m representing my culture and participating in something that is bigger than myself.” This feeling of community and fellowship was a common theme when speaking with the pupils participating in the event such as Kayla Nkonde, aged 13, stating: “I’ve enjoyed it so far because you get to connect with other people and their cultures” as well as Rebecca Paton, aged 14, who expressed: “We had to look after each other as well as work with each other”. 


Both guests and pupils laughed, watched and sang along with the spectacular show that the pupils worked so hard on as well as the staff who helped drive the show. 


A frequent feeling that spread across the school was the need to reach out to the local community outside of the school. Local events such as these are times in which the local community can come together to celebrate those who live, work and study in the surrounding area. Whilst many parents, fellow students as well as former students all came to acknowledge this significant part of the year, there was a hope to showcase the talents of the school to the wider community of Greenwich.


Student, Alisha Beadell-Rose, summarised this perfectly:” My greatest hope is that people understand the message we’re trying to put out.”


A huge congratulations go to all the staff and students who took part in the concert! Your hard work and dedication paid off.        


By Jaynelle Osei