Beachwood Families Celebrate Black History Month
Colorful trifolds were set up around the room, focusing on a variety of topics, including the suffering and triumph of African American history. It was a real learning experience for people who might not know anything about the culture.
After the vendors, a presentation began in the auditorium. African drums accompanied traditional dancers.
Soon after, a series of performances celebrated the month. From playing hymns, reenactments of president Obama’s speeches and a demonstration of what the sit-ins were like in the 60s, the students conveyed a sense of pride in African-American culture.
Next the speeches began. Members of the DAC Scholars were called for recognition by BHS advisers Greg Deegan and Patte Bettis-Eddie. Scholars from Hilltop and the middle school were announced by Jason Hill and Cathy Harper.
Two proclamations were given by the city of Beachwood and by the city of Cleveland. FOX 8 News noon anchor Jennifer Jordan was the mistress of ceremony.
The Julian Earles community service award went to Ariane Kirkpatrick. She owns AKA team construction and made many accomplishments to deserve this award. The final speaker was Dr. Renee Cavor Willis. The main focus of her speech was to “close the achievement gap,”
After the final speech and a rendition of America the Beautiful, soul food was served in the cafeteria.
Participants reflected on the significance of Black History Month.
“Why just one month?” asked David Horton. “It would be nice if our culture were recognized throughout the year…then just given one particular month,” he said. He pointed out that February, set aside for Black History Month, is the shortest of the twelve months.
Some have argued that Black History Month is no longer necessary.
Bettis-Eddie feels it is important to study black history month. “I look at it as a pride thing,” she said.