THS celebrates Black History Month with program

Published 10:06 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM |Managing Editor 

ALABASTER – For the first time in the school’s history, Thompson High School recognized Black History Month with a student and faculty-led program entitled, “A Celebration of Culture and Heritage” on Feb. 27.

The show took place in THS’s Performing Arts Center with four programs taking place throughout the day so that all students could have the opportunity to watch and learn. The program showcased the pivotal roles that African American musicians and other notable figures played and continue to play throughout U.S. history.

“This program really opened my eyes to all communities of race, and it’s really important to me,” said Cheyenne Malone, a 10th grader at THS who performed during the program. “I thought we did really well today and having all the support from the teachers and students was also great.”

The show opened with video of important videos of figures from Black history before cutting to multiple students from Thompson High School repeating the phrase, “I am Black history.” Afterward, A classroom skit began that connected the various performances of the evening and emphasized the history of Black culture—particularly its impact on the evolution of music.

“I feel like it represented what Black history really means, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Gracie Mixon, a 10th grader who performed during the program.

The program featured a variety of music styles that are a part of Black culture, including African drum dance; spirituals and gospel; jazz and rhythm and blues as well as a variety of dance performances, including step dance.

“(I’m) glad we could all come together and make one big program,” said Carter Woods, a senior at THS who participated in the program. “It was great. (I’m) super proud of the band and proud of the steppers.”

This year’s Black History Month program came about after Human Services Academy Teacher Niva Roberson was inspired by a group of students in 2023 who wanted to display their heritage. Roberson proceeded to meet with THS Principal Michael Lee and Guidance Counselor Ratonya Moseley and several others in order to begin planning the program.

“I just want to thank our faculty and the students, they came and supported us, it was an awesome, awesome day,” Roberson said. “I also want to thank our administration and our board of education for even allowing us to do this. They know the importance of making sure that, because our school is so diverse, that there’s representation for everyone.”

Roberson discussed the diversity at Thompson High School and highlighted the importance of embracing equality.

“Sometimes it is a little touchy and sometimes it may be a little hard to look at but (but it’s important to know) where we come from so that we won’t repeat some of the mistakes that happened in the past,” Roberson said.

Moseley spoke on the importance of the program and shared her hopes for its impact on the students at Thompson High School.

“It gave students the opportunity to showcase non-traditional talents,” she said. “We were able to take things from the past and bring it to the future and we hope that the students actually took something away that they can use to make a better future.”

Lee said he believes that holding a program like this brings the topics to life for students as they since are able to see their fellow classmates performing and it means a lot more to them.

“All cultures are important and we need to celebrate each and every culture we have represented within this building,” Lee said. “I think we’ve done a great job with that.”