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Staff and students celebrate ‘hallowed grounds’ with Black History Month Assembly

Staff and students celebrate hallowed grounds with Black History Month Assembly

By Ashvini Kartik-Narayan
Features Writer
Photo by Jack Heerhold

Students, staff, and special guests gathered to celebrate the “hallowed grounds” of African American history with the Black History Month assembly in the auditorium this past Thursday.

The theme, “Hallowed Grounds,” symbolizes the recognition of the influence of past and present African-American leaders, and the strides they made for the equality we work towards today. “Black History Month has been a time for me to personally reflect upon all of the opportunities I have been given due to the hard work of my ancestors,” Dean for The Class of 2016 Jennifer Rowe, who helped organize the event, said.

The assembly began with a performance of the traditional song, “Lift every Voice and Sing,” by the varsity singers. The song tells the story of the struggles, as well as the pride, of the African American people throughout history.

Next, the Ayodele Drum and Dance ensemble took the stage with an engaging performance of a traditional dances and drum techniques. Imania Detry, one of the lead performers, explained that Ayodele’s mission is to “share the knowledge of (African) culture.”

Rowe noted the importance of exposing students to all sides of history. “It is important for all of us to experience a wide range of cultures and to listen to different voices,” Rowe said.

Aurora’s Mayor Tom Weisner spoke at the assembly about the progress in racial equality that still needs to be made. “2015 was not a particularly good chapter in black history,” he said, in reference to the numerous incidents of police brutality and other acts of violence against the black community. “But 2016 is the year that those issues need to be addressed and changed once and for all.”

According to Dean Rowe, assemblies like this one can play a huge role in contributing to the message of Metea L.I.F.E. by fostering positive relationships, and also in contributing to the increased awareness of students about the heritage of their classmates.

Senior Tramont Miller explained that Black History Month is an opportunity for people within the black community to continue making steps toward the future. “It’s really remembering and honoring those who came before us and paved the way…and giving back to our community by respecting those who came before us,” Miller said.

“I think that every individual wants to feel valued in their community and to also be recognized,” Rowe said. The assembly demonstrated that Metea holds values of  inclusivity, and that all cultures are celebrated.

“Black history is American history,” principal Darrell Echols said. “And we celebrate that all year long.”

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  • M

    Matt FitzgeraldFeb 17, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Why is there always a comment about police brutality. What even is the definition of police brutality? I think it is stupid to say an incident is police brutality because that causes problems in society. You have to keep in mind that the police are not all trying to just kill people. They are supposed to uphold the law. They also have families of their own, and their job beside being the police is to go home to their family everyday. Also it is wrong to say that the use of riot gear and tear gas is brutality when the rioters are dropping concrete blocks from rooftops on top of them. Also, as stated in the constitution, citizens have the right to PEACEABLY assemble, but rioting is not allowed due to the fact it damages other peoples’ property. Also many of those who have been killed by the police were criminals. There is actual proof of those men committing crimes. And in the case of the incident in Baltimore, he ran from the police and they pursued him because they had reason to believe that he had done something illegal, due to him running.

    Honestly, the lives of the police officers are ruined by these events, and they are portrayed as monsters, when really they too are human.

    • A

      Anish AnandFeb 17, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      You do not get the point ‘smarty pants’. This is Black History Month and the police brutality topic is about all of the cops that have killed unarmed black men, with the movement of #blacklivesmatter. Maybe if you payed attention to the news, then you would be literate enough to understand that you are being simply racist to the fact that racism towards the black population still remains relevant today. It is extremely sad to see that this school has lethargic white supremacists that dont understand black rights.

    • M

      MichelleFeb 20, 2016 at 10:28 am

      How do you justify the black guy who was killed just a couple days ago? He had a mental illness and was naked, but the cops shot him dead because they “thought he had a gun”. I’m sorry, but a justice system that will accept that flimsy excuse is unfair. Why don’t you actually research these things instead of just talking about the stuff you see on the news? Many INNOCENT black people have been killed by the police that you haven’t heard of.

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Staff and students celebrate ‘hallowed grounds’ with Black History Month Assembly