Jesuit Academy celebrated Black History Month on Wednesday, February 26, with a school-wide celebration aimed at honoring and promoting the historical contributions of African-Americans. Prior to the school-wide assembly, the eighth grade class presented the Living History Museum. Each eighth grade student assumed the identity of a prominent African-American individual from history. After completing research on the individual, each student presented his findings via a presentation board. To share the information with the school, booths were set up in the gym. Fellow Jesuit Academy students and families in attendance for the school-wide celebration were invited to interact with the eighth graders. Notable historical figures in attendance included Nat Turner, William Still, Frederick Douglass, and Henry Box Brown.
Following the Living History Museum, the Jesuit Academy community came together to continue the celebration. The assembly featured a presentation by each grade. Fourth grade kicked off the event with a class-wide recitation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech. Each student was responsible for a portion of the speech. Following the presentation, the fifth grade class presented The Greensboro Four, the story of four African-American college students who, in 1960, defied segregation by sitting at a whites-only lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina. Their actions spurred sit-ins throughout the country and have been recognized as a major desegregation movement.
The seventh grade then presented on famous African-American Olympians. Each student researched and created a presentation slide, highlighting important facts of each Olympian’s life and contributions to their sport. Olympians featured included John Baxter Taylor, Jesse Owens, Dominique Dawes, and Shani Davis. In total, eleven African-American Olympic athletes were celebrated.
The ceremony continued with several eighth graders elaborating on their earlier presentations from the Living History Museum. They spoke to the crowd as their featured historical feature, engaging the crowd with stories of their lives and their fight for freedom.
The event concluded with the sixth grade presenting a Jesuit Academy favorite, the tenth edition of the Lost In Time movie series, which is produced each year by sixth grade teacher Mr. Mansour. This year’s movie was a retrospect of the previous nine years of Lost In Time movies and showcased the acting talents of this year’s sixth grade class. It was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd and has become a feature of each year’s celebration.