I Stepped In: Embodying Dr. King’s Dream Through Step

Hannah Williams, Staff Writer

The Martin Luther King Assembly took place on January 17th and was arguably one of the most powerful assemblies to take the stage this year. As a participant of the performance, preparation was not easy. In fact, it took a lot of time, ideas, commitment and passion. As a member of the STEP team, I can speak for us collectively and say we all wanted the same thing: to execute a powerful performance. Our goal was to deliver a message using our routine: actions instead of words. We knew that this was going to be a challenging task, so we began practices as soon as mid-October. The process began with choosing a song that would showcase Dr. King’s ultimate dream of freedom and equality. Picking a song wasn’t hard, but it was important that we pick one that sent a message that people could easily interpret. After a unanimous decision, we decided on the song “Freedom” by Beyoncé. The chorus of the song discusses the fight for freedom stating: “Freedom, Freedom, I can’t move, Freedom, cut me loose.” The song suggests freedom is the answer to feelings of injustice and an escape from a world of inequality. The line, “Singing’, freedom, freedom, Where are you?” embodies the entirety of what we were trying to get across. The idea of a continuous search for freedom resonated with me and the team as a whole.  We hoped to provoke questions like: What am I doing to participate in this search for freedom? How am I as an individual helping to create inclusive environments? We chose the song in hopes to spark inspiration. On a smaller scale, we chose the song in hopes of sparking inspiration and motivation in the student body on a daily basis, and to help individuals become aware of injustice in society.

To depict this message, our performance began with us wearing black hoodies, and our heads facing down; before we discovered our freedom.  In the center of the stage J’Meeyah White ‘22 stood, dressed in a white shirt with the words freedom pasted on its front. She was a walking symbol for this freedom we were trying to embody. We walked around her in the beginning, not stepping, to represent things such as racism, and injustice holding us back from “breaking the chains” to freedom. And as the song continued and the chorus was sung, our black sweatshirts came off and we continued to step with the matching freedom shirts. This demonstrated the discovery of freedom, and the pursuit of Dr. King’s dream, of not being silent. When the performance came to an end, I exited the stage feeling relieved: all that we had practiced was finally showcased. We had done our best to create a powerful performance. All that we could hope was that the audience received it with their undivided attention and respect. I had a few of my peers greet me with encouraging comments, saying they thought it was the best performance we had done yet. Other members of the step team shared that they felt proud and excited about not just the step performance, but all the talent showcased. We unanimously declared this MLK assembly our best one yet and I can attest to that. The different acts within the performance spoke volumes to what Dr. King stood for, and his dream was kept alive.