T-D Sophomore Remembers 2019’s Glory Days

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T-D Sophomore Remembers 2019’s Glory Days

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This year’s Glory Days was very eye-opening as it had a nice variation of religions, places to visit, and a lot of insight on African-American history. I enjoyed most parts more than others, but overall it  was an educational experience that I wouldn’t have given up for anything else.

Naturally, Glory Days “commences”, as Mr. Fleming puts it, on the afternoon of the Friday of midterms week. That day, sophomores, juniors, and seniors alike congregated in Freedom Hall and listened to a very interesting lecture from T.K Nakagaki, a Japanese Buddhist monk based in New York. Learning about Buddhism was very nice, especially when we all meditated together. The following Monday we headed for the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, where we had an exclusive showing of the 1988 movie “Mississippi Burning”. There are many words to describe the experience of watching that movie, which I won’t go into right now. However, we were fortunate enough to have a question-and-answer session with the screenwriter and producer of the film who were also very interesting. Even though I didn’t get to ask my question, I am very grateful that Ms. Sheila, mother of Enzuri Roberts, said what needed to be said: “Black history isn’t black history. It is American history.”

If there was more time, I would have asked about the film’s courtroom scene, and whether or not the filmmakers believe that there is a difference between the injustices done in American courtrooms in 1964 and in 2019.

On Tuesday, the middle schoolers, freshmen and sophomores got to visit the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, where we learnt about Mormonism. It was probably one of the most educational parts of the trip for me because I learned about a subcategory of Christianity and how they view Jesus Christ. It gave me a chance to learn what the root of their beliefs are, which goes back to the story of Joseph Smith. Their missionaries and members of that church were extremely warm and genuine and very welcoming. Later that day, we went to Coromandel, an Indian cuisine place in downtown New Rochelle, where we had lunch and a performance. A gospel band, the Supreme Queens, came and showed us what real music sounded like. They were so good and practically spelled “BLACK EXCELLENCE” to us.

 

On Wednesday, we went to Riverside and visited a Buddhist Church, where we learned more about the history of Buddhism and how it moved around the world, which I thought was very captivating. We then visited the Interchurch, which was down the street from the Buddhist Church. I thought the experience at the Interchurch was very fascinating because we saw a show with soprano singer and Broadway actress, Heather Hill, and pianist, Kyle Walker. Their performance was very moving and so enchanting. Listening to an opera singer up close for the first time was absolutely insane. I wanted to ask Heather Hill more about the Florence Price songs that she sang. Why she sang them, if she thought the lyrics had any specific meaning to her, if she sings them at all her shows. She was absolutely stunning and ethereal.

 

The next day, we all travelled to the Scarsdale Synagogue, where Joel Glickman Rosen’s mother gave us a very fruitful and engaging lecture on Judaism. I found everything about that place so beautiful; the temple itself, the people, the lecture, the religion of Judaism as a whole and how welcoming to everything the place was. Right after that, we hopped straight over to White Plains and visited the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua, where Father Chris gave us a compelling explanation of Catholicism and of the Church. The sanctuary that we were in was absolutely gorgeous, as well as the items and cloaks that they showed us. We ended the day with a few speeches and pizza at Sir John’s Restaurant, which I enjoyed.

 

Glory Days ended the next day, which was Friday. We started the day by going to Huguenot Memorial Church, where we met William Ohmes’s mom and we learned about the geothermal heating systems of their church. We played on their organ, which was pretty awesome. After having some brownies, we scurried over to the Lower West Side, where we visited St. Lutheran’s Church. The people there were very welcoming and showed us a “short snippet” of their Hamlet-inspired play. It was very interesting and funny and the actors were very good. We then walked two steps down the street and went into the Fat Cat, which was very cool because we played some ping pong and pool.

 

What I enjoyed the most about Glory Days was seeing “Choir Boy” on Tuesday evening. “Choir Boy” was such a beautiful production that visualized the struggles of what it is like to be a black, gay man. The cast evoked so much emotion and I ended up crying at the very end (which is standard procedure, I cry over everything). It isn’t a musical, but it’s a play with and about music. There weren’t any instruments or background vocals or a track, it was just their voices, raw and vulnerable and I’d never seen anything so thought-provoking. The story was so beautiful and sad. It showed us the reality of what it is like to be a minority within a minority.

 

It fit perfectly into the theme of Black History Month, and I am so grateful that I saw the play, along with experiencing Glory Days.

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