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Inderkum High Black Student Union holds 5th annual ‘January Jam’ 

Student made poster for Inderkum High Schools annual January Jam
Olivia Ming
Student made poster for Inderkum High School’s annual January Jam

Every January Inderkum High School’s Black Student Union club produces the “January Jam,” an informal talent show that celebrates student creativity with performances and other activities planned by club leadership.

“Normally I don’t like to perform in front of other people, but they cheered me on and made it a fun experience,” said Angelina Carrie, an Inderkum senior and participant in the fifth annual January Jam held this year. “I really enjoyed it.”  

The event gives students a forum to express themselves before a crowd that won’t be judgemental, and has filled a key role after the shutdown of other school traditions. 

“We had fundraising events … (like) the Tiger Bazaar where clubs and food trucks would come out and give everyone something to look forward to, but they had to stop doing it for food safety reasons,” said Carrie. 

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Students like Carrie said that this has led to a “noticeable gap,” which hasn’t been filled on campus, where there are “less activities to balance out schoolwork.” January Jam is one of the increasingly rare student-led traditions at Inderkum. 

Claire Fraga, the faculty sponsor for the Black Student Union and an Inderkum art teacher, said, “The effects of January Jam are beyond positive as students who might not have known each other come together outside of class on their own accord to share their spoken word, poetry, dance, and have fun getting to know one another.” 

Inderkum students cheering on a performer at January Jam. (Olivia Ming)

Participants of January Jam say it leaves a lasting memory for those who participate and have helped arrange it in the past. 

“Inderkum’s BSU has been organizing these January Jam’s for 5 years now,” said senior Manal Ali, president of the Black Student Union. “I always remember how much we work we would put into decorating, making it worthwhile, and getting as much turnout as we could since the event is trying to connect the school community.” 

January Jam has no formal competition. That takes the pressure off performances, providing students a stage to shine without consequences for making small mistakes. 

“It’s inspiring to see our youth open up to each other without being afraid to be themselves, recognize their peer’s abilities, and have fun,” Fraga said. 

January Jam serves as an example for how to boost school spirit and promote student involvement in the absence of other traditions like the Tiger Bazaar, which had been running since 2011. 

“The best part was making people laugh, making them feel comfortable to start participating, and just making them feel invited. That’s awesome,” senior Kaiden Allen-Wade said,  

Manal Ali, delivering a poem at the January Jam.

 

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About the Contributors
Benjamin Lopez, Reporter
I am a freshman at Inderkum High School. I am also a poet for Sacramento Area Youth Speaks representing Sacramento in an international poetry competition hosted by Brave New Voices. I am also a swimmer and love to write and make art for clubs in my school.
Olivia Ming, Photographer
I am Olivia Ming and I attend Inderkum High School.
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