September 15: Sugar Bear at Luke C. Moore High School
On September 15, Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliott visited the classroom of Roger Jackson at Luke C. Moore High School (DCPS).
During his visit, Sugar Bear explained how he came to play go-go and his experiences at Ballou High School. He went into detail about the importance of practice and being prepared no matter where you are. When a student asked how E.U. was chosen to do “Da Butt,” Sugar Bear explained that film director Spike Lee happened to be in D.C. and saw E.U. performing. Lee approached him and said, “I want you to be in my next movie.” The rest is history. Sugar Bear’s message to the students was “It’s good to be good wherever you are at.”
Following the overview, it was time to practice some call and response. Sugar Bear shouted out various calls and students responded in unison. He then began to play a few beats causing students to get up and dance. The classroom was transformed instantly into a go-go! Students crowded around Sugar Bear at the end of the visit to receive free CDs, autographs, and take pictures with a living legend.
Roger Jackson commented:
Students joined in as Sugar Bear played and sang, “Ohhhhh, Bop Bop!!” The energy in the room was overwhelming. Sugar Bear transformed the classroom into a musical place of movement. Tapping to the rhythm, moving to the beat, nodding to the syncopation, students displayed numerous talents at once. Sugar Bear did it. He reached the students.
After gaining their attention, he had conversations with them about how they can be successful by being who they are with a huge amount of greatness. He explained to them that they must work hard and be the “best them” that they could possibly be. Just being able to touch one life is always the goal, however, Sugar Bear touched many.