Yesterday on the way home from school I asked TB if he knew what he was supposed to wear to the Black History Month program later in the evening. He said he was supposed to wear a white button down dress shirt. I told him that the note that was sent home indicated that all students were to wear dark colored tops and black bottoms. TB refuted this idea. So off to home we went, where we pulled out and ironed a button down white dress shirt.
Silly me. One shouldn’t always believe what one is told by a 9-year-old.
When we arrived at the school’s gymnasium, TB was the only child there in a white button down dress shirt. The next closest was a boy in a white and grey basketball jersey. I eventually realized that children who had solo performances in the show must have been allowed to wear an alternate outfit. Had I known about the outfit clemency, we would have come up with something a bit better for representing Langston Hughes, whose poem “Youth” TB recited. As far as boys’ outfits go, TB looked pretty snazzy though. And interestingly, although I kept waiting for the kid in the basketball jersey to perform a solo act, I was disappointed.
What did not, disappoint, however, were some of the girls in they finery. One girl had on a blue dashiki and was grooving in the choir stand. She started off with the robot and finished with something sinewy and funky. Another girl had on a purple dress with a fluted skirt, a fur bolero, and an enormous flower in her hair. I was expecting her to sing a Billie Holiday song, but instead she regaled us with one of several Langston Hughes recitations that occurred during the course of the evening.
But the show stopper was a girl dressed in a gold fringe sparkle dress with matching gauntlets who sang “A Tisket a Tasket” in the style of Ella Fitzgerald. This girl had the pipes; she clearly had the outfit; she had the moves; and to top it all off, she had the glitter. Homegirl sang and danced her little heart out, but the piece de resistance of her performance came at the end when she picked up her yellow basket and flung gold glitter to the crowd.
It was a pity her performance didn’t conclude the “Evening at the Apollo,” because flinging gold glitter over the crowd would have been a great way to go out.