The Streetz of Andover

Af-Lat-Am entertained and educated with “Hitz from the Streetz.” The event mixed the great talent of Andover’s African American and Latino students with information about the heritage and culture of these groups. Terrence Rubin ’05 described the purpose of the night, “it’s… the entertainment of people in your own culture… [and it] brings people closer together.” Each act offered the audience a taste of something different. SLAM opened with an “on point” performance, with not one step out of sync. Desmond Bonhomme-Isaiah ’06 engaged the crowd with original beats and lyrics in his inspiring, “Master of the People.” Natasha Midgley ’05 choreographed a stylish hip-hop piece, performed previously in this term’s Skyline, but with great new additions. On a more serious note, seniors Ayo Adesanya, Kojo DeGraft-Hanson, Kenechi Igbokwe, Alex Moris, Jason Saunders and Winston Shaw gave a touching speech about the progression of the roles of African Americans and Latinos in America. Af-Lat-Am President Hope Gbarayor ’05 read a witty piece called “You Wanna Talk About Love,” which contrasted nicely with a later reading by Candace Mitchell ’05, about the life and aspirations of teenager growing up in the inner city. In a shift from urban America to Africa, the audience enjoyed a preview of this week’s upcoming Theater 520 production, “Things Fall Apart.” This excerpt gave the audience a taste of the influence that the “white man” had on the native inhabitants of Nigeria. Luke Cahill ’06, Franklin Davison ’05, Brittany Hipps ’06, Todd Kwao-vovo ’06, and Danny Lee ’05 put together a great composition of complex beats in an African drumming performance that really stood out. Kwao-vovo impressed the crowd with an intense drum solo. In an African fashion show, Students modeled intricate clothing in bright and inviting colors. Their designs were both traditional and innovative. With “Roots of Burgeoning Brothers,” Jennifer Meacham ’06, Akosua Oforiwaa-Ayim ’07, Terrence Rubin ’05 and Aba Temeng ’06 offered the audience a soulful hymn, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Meacham and Oforiwaa-Ayim also sang a selection of songs by Alicia Keys. Though they had to stop and restart their act, they did a great job of handling the difficult piano and vocal parts. At the end of the show, Tanner Kaufman ’06 on piano, Kevin Olusula ’06 on the saxophone and beat boxing and Luke Cahill ’06 on the drums treated the audience to a special, spur of the moment performance. The surprise performance had a funky beat, a twist of jazz and soul music. The show, an annual event since its inception in the 90s, ran with very few glitches. Jennifer Akor ’05, Lissette Duran ’05 and Akosua Miller ’05 emceed “Hitz.” Interspersed in the performances were clips from a great movie slideshow put together by Af-Lat-Am members.