By: Laila Johnson 282
As the first cultural club created at Central, the African American Student Union (AASU) has created and maintained a tradition lasting more than twenty years to celebrate Black talent in our school with none other than the highly anticipated AASU Showcase. The week of February seventh, the showcases featured a range of acts from AASU Groups (Music, Dance, Poetry, and Art), as well as Pep Squad, United Pan Africa, and various individual and small group acts. Whether it was Jadon Barksale’s original poem “Marathon,” to Rebecca Allen’s tear-jerking rendition of “I’m Here” from Tony Award Winning hit The Color Purple, or a shocking conclusion with Central’s very own Beyoncé, Saniyah Granger—the AASU Showcase had students and faculty on the edge of their seats. Topics of Black beauty, racial inequality, and microaggressions among peers in higher-level classes were all brought up as a means to ignite the “difficult conversations” that many Black students want to bring to the forefront. Specifically following the murder of Tyre Nichols, Philadelphia AASU works to create a safe space for Black students to feel valued. Even though this was AASU President, Laila Johnson’s, last year at Central, she has plans to pass the baton to continue the mission for Black student support post-graduation. Johnson is honored to have been able to work aside Sponsor Ms. Dwight, Vice President Jamerika Grandberry, and the AASU Executive Board to make this all possible.