By Tim Harfmann
Students honored Black History Month by performing for children and parents at Incarnation Catholic Academy in Queens Village, Queens. “It’s a time to celebrate all the black people that have done great things for us,” said Chrisitan Scott. The 2nd grader dressed up as Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop.” Other students also dressed up as notable figures and pretended to be part of a wax museum. It was part of the festivities along with singing, dancing, poems and skits.
Four-year-old Sydney Mae-Campbell wasn’t too young to understand the Civil Rights Movement. She portrayed Rosa Parks. On-stage with her pre-k classmates, they perform a skit about the Montgomery bus boycott and Parks’ fight against segregation. “The man wasn’t being nice to her, so she boycotted the bus,” said Mae-Campbell.
But it wasn’t the only day students learned about black history. All month long, they worked on projects in their classrooms. “Every day we have a writing prompt on the board. Each day it’s a different person. Today was Barack Obama, and he had a quote. We had to write about it and explain its meaning,” said Michael Echevarre. He is an eighth grader at Incarnation Catholic Academy.
For the students, understanding black history gave them a greater appreciation for the past to continue the fight for equally in the future. “We can do whatever we want and that we can be free and do good things for the world,” said Shiloh Milford. He’s a 5th grader at the Queens school. “Kids don’t understand what racism is, and that’s why adults need to teach them. So, they need to not contribute to racism and keep the world equal,” said Echevarre.
At the end of the show, all of the students sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as a show of solidarity.