Students Celebrate Black History Month with Assembly

Directing the team in the right direction, the step coach helps the step team go over the routine before going out to perform for the school on Feb. 24. This was the first year the celebration took place during the school day.
During practice, junior London McWilliams shines while other students practice raising the spirits of the crowd. “I’m happy that we were able to come together and make something special to show everyone how awesome our culture is,” said McWilliams.
While the students were settling into the bleachers, the choir performed several songs to get their attention and set the mood. Classes were shortened by 15 minutes each so that the entire student body could attend the assembly.
Junior Elijah Jones opens the celebration with impeccable dance moves, getting the audience warmed up for what is next. He then moved the crowd with a rendition of “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke.
Senior Nathaniel Fields, as well as other scholars, receives the Spirit of Excellence Award. “I’m very proud of myself to receive this award for the fourth time,” Fields said. “I’m very lucky and glad I worked hard to keep my GPA above a 3.5.”
The crowd applauds the PNH step team at the end of their performance. The step team recently won first place at the STEPMETHEUS competition, hosted in Lakeland, Florida.
Bianca James represents her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta, one of the Divine Nine during the assembly. Zeta Phi Beta was founded in 1920 and remains one of the several historical African American sororities students may join in college. This part of the assembly highlighted the unity, contributions, and achievements in education.
Towards the end of the assembly, senior Carmen Grimes performs “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo. With its themes of hope and overcoming obstacles, the song has become an anthem for liberation movements in the United States.
Principal Dave Jones ends the assembly reminding everyone that “A Change is Going to Come” and that starts with “The Man in the Mirror,” two songs sung earlier by students during the assembly. Alayah Johnson, one of many coordinators of Black History Month celebration for our school said she “had low expectations for the assembly because everything was so unorganized. However, I think it turned out to be really enjoyable.”