BLACK HISTORY MONTH RECOGNITION BY FLAG STUDENTS
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The February 22, 2014 FLAG meeting was dedicated to Black History Month. The students were asked to select a person whom they admired for their contributions to black history. Following are excerpts from the students’ presentations.
Michael Breckenridge - “Frederick Douglas”
Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, c. February 1818 -February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery , he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizen. Many Northerners also found it hard to believe that such a great orator had been a slave.
Chantal Nomen - “Langston Hughes”
James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 - May 22, 1967) was an American poet , playwright . He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "the negro was in vogue" which was later paraphrased as "when Harlem was in vogue".
Chantal also shared with the audience a very early voice recording from one of Langston Hughes famous poems.
Zahara Bush - “Maya Angelou”
Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928. She grew up in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. She is an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist. She is best known for her autobiographical books: Mom & Me & Mom (Random House, 2013); Letter to My Daughter (2008); All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986); The Heart of a Woman (1981); Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas (1976); Gather Together in My Name (1974); and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), which was nominated for the National Book Award.
Olivia Ojiaku - “Josephine Baker”
Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 - April 12, 1975) was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress who came to be known in various circles as the "Black Pearl," "Bronze Venus" and even the "Creole Goddess". Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine later became a citizen of France in 1937. She was fluent in both English and French. Baker was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) or to become a world-famous entertainer.
Group Presentation - Ms. Virginette Scott and students - “Rosa Parks Bus Boycott”
Ms. Scott and the FLAG students gave an awesome presentation demonstrating Rosa Parks arrest for her refusal to give up her seat on the bus as indicated in the following statements. On the 1st of December 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks, an African-American seamstress, was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for not standing and letting a white bus rider take her seat. It was an "established rule" in the American south (at that time) that African-American riders had to sit at the back of the bus. African-American riders were also expected to surrender their seat to a white bus rider if it was needed. When asked to move to let a white bus rider be seated Mrs. Parks refused. She did not argue and she did not move. The police were called and Mrs. Parks was arrested.
Kudos to all who participated in the Black History Month presentations. It was truly a learning experience for everyone in attendance.
Jyir Bonham - “Booker T. Washington”
Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 - November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community. Washington was of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants, who were newly oppressed by disfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
National Women History Month
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