LNHS Celebrates Black History Month
Assistant Principal Eric Floyd approached Social Studies teacher June Toliver with the challenge of coordinating this year’s Black History Month festivities.Throughout the month of February there will be different activities to celebrate African-Americans in history. The main event, the convocation “Tribute to African-Americans in the Arts,” will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 27 during R8. All students and teachers are invited to attend.
Toliver is excited about the convocation and said it was her favorite part of the month.”It’s [the convocation] a collaboration with students and faculty. I’m getting a lot of positive feedback about it,” said Toliver.
Black History Month was first recognized in 1926 with a week-long celebration. In 1976 it grew from a week to a month full of observing influential blacks in history. The month of February was chosen because both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were born in this month. LN will be focusing on those in music, literature and art.
English teacher Rose Konare is helping in the planning the events. For her the month is meant to help people.To learn about how African-Americans are apart of the bigger culture, that’s why it’s important. It helps African-Americans who have suffered to have a sense of pride,” said Konare. Maya Angelou is Konare’s favorite black leader. “Her poetry is profound and simple,” said Konare.
The convocation will also include a tribute to those in literature, dance and theatre arts. LN students will read poems from authors such as Angelou. Students will dance to pay tribute. Many departments have collaborated to put on the event. Students and teachers from orchestra, dance, band, social studies and English are all working on this project. During the program there will be tributes to different leaders in the arts. LN students will sing and play songs from famous blacks such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Jimi Hendrix. The convocation is not spotlighting anyone in particular.
Freshman DJ Davis is playing a guitar solo to honor Jimi Hendrix. “I was asked by a teacher. It sounded like a good opportunity to help honor African-Americans,” said Davis.
Although the convocation is the main event of the month, there will be many other smaller events. Pieces of art by two black artists will be displayed throughout the school and students will have to do research to find out who the artists are. There will be a first, second and third place winners for this contest. There will also be a poetry contest open to all students to enter an original poem at the end of the month. First, second and third prizes will be awarded for this contest also. Prizes will be given out at the end of the month.
Not all of the events are fun and games. There will be a community service project. Perishable items will be collected, made into care packages and sent overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan to a solider on active duty. “The community service project is good. It’s something everybody can be involved in,” said Toliver.
Movies that showcase famous individuals will be shown. “Men of Honor” will be shown during study halls on both red and green days. On the half days this month, due to conferences, “Something the Lord Made” will be shown all day. Some of the activities will take place outside school. There will be movie night in the cafeteria on Wednesday, Feb. 4 from 3-5 p.m. featuring the film “Coming to America.”
There will be a soul food café where classic soul food will be served, catered by Black Diamond Barbeque and Catering. This event will be after school from 3-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Black History Art contests will be showcased during this occasion.
Black History Month isn’t just for African-Americans, it’s a chance for everyone to learn something,” said Konare. The activities are meant for educational purposes.”Mainly educational and awareness to learn, also to promote tolerance and peace,” said Toliver.