PMSA Students Showcase Black History in Program
March 4, 2016 11:25 AM
Students at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy got a review of black history and culture from some of their classmates at the school's annual Black History Program on February 19.
Performed twice as part of the observance of Black History Month, the program covered highlights of black history and culture from the slave trade to current issues facing the African-American community. This included dance, quotes from notable historical figures, and lesser-known facts.
"Typically, the only things that are celebrated in black culture are athletes or entertainers," said Marquan Jones, a PMSA senior who was among the student leaders who created the program with Mr. Matt Brown, PMSA music teacher. "I wanted to shed light on the truth and the misconceptions that we sometimes learn in school, and also to shed light on the beauty of our culture and not just the negative connotations when it comes to black people."
While the program did have its serious moments to get students thinking, there also were lighter moments such as the "Soul Train" line at the end of the program.
"I wanted to put people through a plethora of emotions, with the slavery and the laughter with the ‘Soul Train’ line," Marquan said. "We’ve been put through so much, but we have found ways to be happy. We don’t want to be apathetic, but we want to overcome."
Along with a packed PMSA auditorium crowd of students, the program also was viewed by Mr. Bill Hampton, brother of Fred Hampton, who was an activist and a 1966 Proviso East High School graduate who rose to a prominent position in the Black Panther Party before his death in 1969 at the age of 21.
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that it was important for students to learn about the history of African-Americans and to celebrate the contributions of African-Americans.
"Learning about the past and learning particularly about black history is necessary for us to grow and move forward in a positive manner," she said. "I commend our faculty, staff, and students for devoting the time to learning about an important part of our history and culture."
Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA, said that she was proud of the quality work that the students put into the program.
"Our students did a great job in presenting this quality program," she said. "That is reflective of the teaching of our staff, and they should be commended."
For a video of highlights of the program, please click here
Videography done by Floyd Maxwell, a senior at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.