Members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center on North Centre Avenue gathered to celebrate Black History Month on Feb. 24, as the center’s youth displayed their many talents during the ceremony.
The event, which co-organizer Sharon Sheppard said will most likely become an annual gathering, was the culmination of six weeks of preparation for 16 children and teenagers who regularly attend the center’s after-school program.
The program runs Monday through Friday and offers activities for more than 30 students, Sheppard said. The youth members danced, performed spoken-word, read essays on what Black History Month means to them, and displayed artwork that was prepared during the after-school program.
The students did much of the work themselves, Sheppard added, from choreographing the dance routines to adorning the center with decorations. They dedicated six days each week to the preparation, she said, even coming in to the center on Saturdays.
“I think it’s very important,” Sheppard said of the youngsters participating in the Black History Month event. “I’m glad that they were involved, because it kept them off the street.”