Black History Month at St. Luke’s

To the current high school generation, it may be hard to believe that prior to the summer of 1964, segregation was still an institution in America, the so-called “Land of Opportunity.” The question remains: was that title appropriate? Many states, particularly in the South, continued to enforce laws that perpetuated discrimination. However, the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s brought awareness of this negative mindset in our country.  This time period featured  heroic and courageous acts by both blacks and whites who stood up for the future of America and the equality of all people. It was these men and women who brought the U.S.A. into a state of greater racial harmony. To commemorate this monumental shift in our nation’s history, America has designated February as Black History Month.

In the same spirit,  St. Luke’s marks this celebration by remembering those who faced oppression and discrimination with due respect while proposing ways to move into the future together.  In fact, recently the members of Mr. Holyfield’s African American Studies class broke new ground with a Meditation which addressed racism head-on. “Previous Meditations only utilized forms of speech, slideshows, and videos,” said Mr. Holyfield. “But our class took the initiative to present music, rap, prose, and speech to portray this important subject. In that way, the Meditation highlighted what the students have learned and presented it through mediums that have always been important in the African American culture.”

Indeed, the Meditation succeeded in pushing students out of their comfort zones, in the best of ways. From the soulful rapping of Abraham Ramirez -aka Trace – to the humble words of Myles Gaines, the students of the African American Studies class put on an impressive and moving show.

Students have also been encouraged to continue their own quests to learn something new about African American culture. Mr. Holyfield is arranging a showing of the film “Brother Outsider,” which follows the story of a homosexual man named Bayard Rustin who played a dominant role in the Civil Rights movement.  Other opportunities exist in the SLS Library, where an entire bookshelf is dedicated to Black History Month.  Mr. Holyfield also has a large personal collection of texts, which he is willing to lend freely.

Perhaps the best resources are the students who finished the African American Studies class;  following their Meditation they hosted a Q & A session by the fireplace for anyone with questions or comments, and extended that offer into the future.

February may end next week, but Black History is a continuous journey.

-Tommy Champion, Staff Writer

Posted by on February 23, 2012. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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