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Black History Month Culminates with Virtual Celebration

Since the early 1900s, the month of February has been reserved for the celebration of Black history and excellence. Traditionally, at John A. Ferguson there would be a variety of activities centered around honoring the past and educating the school community. Unfortunately, our annual Black History performances in the auditorium are no longer permitted due to the ongoing pandemic.  However, Mrs. Kilpatrick, who is directing this years’ programming, has taken the initiative to continue the commitment to celebrating Black History Month. 

The school has arranged ingenious ideas to ensure that both physical and MSO students can participate in the celebration. “With the proper restrictions and pandemic-friendly activities, it is still doable,” said Mrs. Kilpatrick. 

The festivities started on February 4th as it commenced the “A Moment in Black History” daily trivia, which occurs every day after school at 3 p.m., and will continue until the 26th. For those who tune in daily, the experience will be enriched with questions and important facts of triumphs in black history, a $5 reward will be offered every day for the winners of this trivia contest. For anyone who misses the sessions live and is interested in the material, can still listen to it at a more convenient time on the website.

Students also were able to participate in a “Quilt of Quotes” competition, in which they sent submitted their favorite quote by an African American into a survey that was placed on a decorative quilt on February 11th.  The commemorative quilt will be will shared via email, while also being posted on the school site.

February 12th was also an eventful day as it marked the conclusion of the Historically Black College and Universities door decorating contest.  There were also cash prices given to the winners of this competition. 1st place received a $25.00 gift card, with 2nd place getting $15.00, and 3rd place being gifted $10.00.  

It also served as  “Love and Kindness Day,” where both physical and MSO students were encouraged to wear a red shirt to showcase a sign of unity. Pictures of this day will also be listed on the Black History webpage under the “unity” section.

Mrs. Kilpatrick will also host the Black History luncheon for teachers. What was usually a time where all teachers could get together and eat as a symbol of unity has now been altered to a to-go luncheon. Teachers can prepay food on OSP and pick it up in Mrs. Kilpatrick’s room.

To culminate the festivities, the annual Black History Month performance was held on the 26th. However, due to the presented circumstances, it will now be occurring virtually instead of in the auditorium. As it will be broadcasted so that Period 8 teachers on the day will be able to show the presentation to their students through the Ferguson Broadcasting’s YouTube channel. 

The presentation started with the Delou Africa ensemble performing a dance from the Grace Center Foundation event. A message by Principal Villalobos followed up and later featured the Black History Month page on the Ferguson website. The program demonstrated the page that lists out all the different ways Falcons were able to celebrate and honor the month, including featuring the door decorating contest featuring HBCUs.

The assembly featured the steel drums band and the choir singing a church hymn called “I Sing Because I’m Happy”. After their performances, assistant principal Mr. Louis talked about core values about Black History which included family, representation, identity, diversity, equality, and victory.

There was also a review for the best African American films from the 2000s. There were more performances from the steel drum band,  a solo by Amanda Lopez from Ferguson’s choir, and “Let It Be” performed by Ferguson’s guitar band. Mr. Louis also sang along to I Luh God by Erica Campbell. The assembly ended with songs including “Before I Let Go” by Beyonce and the “Electric Boogie” by Marcia Griffiths. Though there were some technical issues along the way, Ferguson’s Black History assembly had an array of diverse segments to celebrate the occasion.

“My hope is that students will learn some important facts about African Americans, and how they are surrounded by their contributions every day.” Mrs. Kilpatrick’s insight and overall efforts will be supported in order to still provide the school with a powerful, yet safe Black History Month for the school.

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