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Black History Program showcases student talents

photo by Jarah Cotton
Strings - Seniors Nairobi Bryant, Taylor Goodlow, and E.J. Scott of the Class of 2017 Chamber Orchestraperform at McEachern’s second annual Black History Month production. The program was intended to make those too young to remember the civil rights movement more aware of those who fought for African- American rights. “Having a Black History Program reminds our culrture where we have come from, and makes us more prepared for where we’re going,” Program Coordinator Connie Holloway said.

by Jarah Cotton, Staff Writer

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Students representing various Cobb County high schools displayed their artistic talents during McEachern’s second annual Black History Program on Feb. 28, 2017.

The program is designed to raise awareness about the multitude of notable African-American individuals who have made significant contributions to our society, but organizers also used it to provide a platform for students’ artistic prowess to shine.

“We so often highlight athletic events, but there are so many children that are talented in other ways,” Program Coordinator Tekisha Hill said, “I think it’s great that this gives them a platform to showcase their talents as well.”

The participants of the program were predominantly African-American with performers choosing a Black-themed wardrobe reminiscent of that of the famed Black Panther Party. However, all those involved wanted it to be clear that Black History is not exclusively for Black’s to celebrate.

“Black History is everybody’s history, so it should not only be celebrated once a month. It should be celebrated by everyone, every day, all year long,” Administrator James Lockhart said.

In this instance, McEachern elected to celebrate Black History through song, dance, poetry, and visual arts.

Junior Zahara Banks served as a member of McEachern’s Gospel Choir as they performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by lyricist James Weldon Johnson and the classic negro spiritual “Give Me Jesus.”

“These songs are negro spiritual anthems,” Banks said, “They are soulful, gospelesque pieces that embody the essence of Black struggles in America.”

Through the experience of participating in a program specifically designed to honor African-American heritage, Banks believes that she has done her part to proliferate knowledge of Black History within her community.

“I myself am already mostly aware of the importance of this topic,” Banks said, “Me being a part of this program allowed me to let other people know what the Black History movement was about.”

A speech from keynote speaker Mayor Al Thurman of Powder Springs, who is the first African-American mayor in Cobb County, concluded the program. Thurman agreed to participate to show support for McEachern’s effort, as well as to emphasize the importance of community celebration of Black History.

 

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Black History Program showcases student talents