The Freeport High School Performing Arts Center was filled with a sense of unity and pride as the district celebrated Black History Month with their annual districtwide celebration.
The event included inspiring music, powerful art, dancing, and poetry from all eight of the district’s schools, impressing those in attendance with each student group’s rendition.
Superintendent of Schools, Kishore Kuncham, welcomed everyone to the celebration and expressed his thoughts on equality and fighting injustice.
“Rising up against injustice takes many forms,” Kuncham said. “Tonight, we honor all the black individuals who have joined in the resistance against injustice and inequality - using their many talents and skills, dreaming and transcending to become successful and paving the way for others to follow. Freeport Public Schools is proud of the many amazing talents of our students and how they express the arts of all black individuals tonight in honor of Black History Month.”
The narrator for the evening, Freeport High School junior Lourdes Saunders-Blake, introduced each school as they took the stage to showcase their talents. The evening started with the talented kindergarten students from Columbus Avenue Early Childhood Center, who received applause for their rendition of “We Are Here.” J.W. Dodd Middle School’s Select Chorale performed a version of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” with the entire audience standing in recognition of African American history.
Under the leadership of Ms. Jill Boardman, the Freeport High School Sinfonietta played “An African-American Air,” a lyrical and beautiful piece that incorporated musical quotes from numerous spirituals. The second-grade World Music Club from Bayview Avenue Elementary School presented a traditional selection from Cameroon that featured singing, dancing, and playing traditional Cameroon instruments.
Following that, a select group of second graders from New Visions Elementary School recited “Martin Luther King,” a motivational poem that celebrated Dr. King’s work for peace and encouraged others to emulate his vision of equality and kindness for all. Leo F. Giblyn Elementary School’s Hot Steppers performed a traditional show that blended African folk traditions with popular Black American culture, while the fourth-grade chorus from Archer Street Elementary School had the audience clapping and singing along with Curtis Mayfield’s “It’s All Right.”
The celebration also featured incredible artwork created by students in grades K-12, showcased in an impressive slideshow presentation. The Black History Month celebration concluded with the fifth and sixth grade chorus from Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School performing the traditional spiritual “Shine on Me.” Overall, the event was an inspiring celebration of Black history and culture.