Boys’ Latin held its annual MLK Assembly on January 10, 2018. The assembly’s purpose is to bring together the Boys’ Latin community and remember Dr. King’s work with racial inequality. In past years, the assembly has normally been about Dr. King, but this year was more centered around the community at Boys’ Latin.
As usual, the lower schoolers performed a song about Dr. King. Also, a brief synopsis video of Dr. King’s work was shown to provide the necessary background refresher for the students. MLK assemblies according to Patrick McDermott have always left a lasting impression on him, but this year was special.
This year’s assembly was unique from the perspective of four current Boys’ Latin students who shared personal anecdotes to the community. Those students were sophomore Jake Miller, juniors Ely Shilling and Blake Shepherd, and senior Nicholas Grinnell. Each gave a different position of what MLK day means to them and how the day directly related to the Boys’ Latin community.
Nichols Grinnell stated that this year’s assembly was more impactful than past MLK assemblies “because of it being student-led.”
Mr. Roche, a faculty member at Boys’ Latin, also commented on how he “felt that the students were spoken to and not spoken at.” Mr. Roche played a pivotal role in the assembly as he and Mr. Freihofer gave a musical performance to the school.
Boys’ Latin is notorious for bringing in very talented keynote speakers for any major assembly, and this coveted list only grew stronger as Carrington Scott, a senior at Boys’ Latin, was asked to speak. Scott is a prominent member not only in the Boys’ Latin community but also in the Baltimore area for his works with different diversity programs. Scott’s message to the school was simple yet impactful.
Scott said, “Please do not let your goals, your dreams, your passions, [and] your loves fade when we have so much more greatness to achieve. For we might be in the valley looking up at where victory and equality reside, but together, we can climb to the summit and be proud of where we are.” Scott’s words struck the community as over the past couple of months there have been instances of former students making poor decisions to jeopardize the core values of the school.
Scott was later interviewed about the timing of the assembly and stated that “during other MLK assemblies, we have never had instances at our school that questioned our beliefs and brotherhood.” MLK day is a day of remembrance, but more importantly a reminder to continue Dr. King’s work. Boys’ Latin prides itself on having an aspect of brotherhood within its community, and that sense of brotherhood has been in question as of late.
The MLK assembly was a great step for the community to repair the sense of brotherhood. Dr. King said that “we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” and Boys’ Latin is making strides to create a culture similar to Dr. King’s vision.