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Albany High’s 2018 Black History Celebration Was A Success

George E. Pounds II, Staff Writer

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As we finish the month of February and usher into the month of March, the school threw a Black History Month celebration. The celebration comprised of a keynote speaker, dancers, a message from our a superintendent, African American poetry written by Shafiyq Grady, a panel discussion of four people with an open Q&A, and some soul food.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Shai Butler, did an amazing job telling her motivating story of being a young teen mom who felt she couldn’t thrive with her given circumstances. The Brooklyn native then transformed herself and gained a bachelors, a masters, and eventually a PhD. Her words were most inspiring because she spoke of coming from nothing to flourishing and becoming the president at Saint Rose College following all her accomplishments. Shafiyq Grady read his poetry which won an african american literary contest. His poetry spoke about the stereotypes of what many people think about african americans. In his poetry he explained those stereotypes of what many think about african americans and what makes him different from those broad stereotypes.

The celebration was a complete success as they had a panel of four people who all work diligently within our community. The people that were on the panel were Yvonne Abunaw, Paul Collins- Hackett, Judge Helena Heath, Commissioner Jonathan Jones, and Dr. Brenda Robinson. They answered questions and spoke about what they do in the community, how they aide many different populations of people, and what they think about some of the current events that go on in our nation and moreover our community. Most importantly they spoke about their struggles and hardships which gave the younger audience a feeling of optimism, inspiration and somewhat closure to those who have struggles within their own lives. Afterwards, They had cultural African dancing, a little bit of hip hop dancing, and evangelical dancing. The ages of the dancers ranged from approximately eight to thirty years old and up. Following the celebration, the school provided southern style food which many people delighted in. The celebration ended with dancing, poetry, and lastly a celebratory meal.

The celebration reminded us that Black History Month isn’t just one month of the year. Every day is Black History Month. Black history is American history. The celebration had all the elements it needed to ensure success (the food was definitely a prime example!). Surely, next year will be quite the spectacle.  

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