By Sarah Plummer
Park Middle School invites the public to attend its Black History Month program “Believe, Achieve and Succeed” on Feb. 28 at 12:30 p.m. and help celebrate the 50th year of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the 200th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Eighth-grade students working with teacher Pamela Moore to recite MLK’s famous speech at the event say it has been a rewarding experience.
“We learned that Dr. Martin Luther King was a great leader and a great speaker and it means a lot to participate in this historic event,” shared student Jordan Hancock.
“Not only do we learn speeches, Mrs. Moore explains our parts to us so we understand what we are saying and we can emphasize specific words to get other people to understand what we are saying,” said Mariel Macias.
Derek Gilbert and Hailey Mills were given the task of memorizing the entire speech to be able to fill in as needed on the day of the event.
Derek said, “I think it is important to look back on history and remember all the troubles Black Americans had to go through to be granted their citizenship.”
Event organizers Pamela Moore and Quincy Madison said local Beckley businessman Damon Hamby will speak at the event and the school will surprise and recognize a local Black American educator.
Culminating from a week-long Black History Bee, winners on the sixth, seventh and eight grade level will be recognized at the event and given a $100 gift certificate.
All students who aced the quiz will be given a free movie pass.
And lastly, the Park Middle Choir will perform a diverse selection of songs, including a traditional South African Freedom Song, a much-loved jazz standard and “Where is the Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas.
“We chose that song because we love what the lyrics are saying and hope to get the entire student body involved in the ending,” said Madison of the contemporary selection.
“These multi-cultural activities are so important in providing plenty of diverse opportunities for students to learn,” added Moore.
Madison added that the program is a change for students to both have fun and to learn.
Student Daquan Wilson shared that after seeing last year’s performance, he could not wait to try out and participate.
Leading up to the event, students have had several Soul Food Lunches and have been reading about a different Black American each day.
The event is open to the public.
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