Saint Peter’s Celebrates Black History Month
By Erin Pant
Throughout the month of February, students at Saint Peter’s School took part in special projects and activities recognizing the achievements of Black Americans.
Third graders wrote biographies of Black Americans who have contributed to the history of our country, while fourth and fifth graders researched and completed “Histagrams,” Instagram-like profiles of notable Black Americans.
Eighth graders took on a special leadership role in this year’s Black History Month activities. Twenty-four students formed a special committee, led by middle-school English Teacher Ms. Gallagher, to plan, organize, and lead school-wide programming.
“I joined the Black History Month committee to be a member of a committee that would do good at my school. I felt that it was vital to participate in something like this as black man,” said eighth-grader Nate Jeudy.
The committee members presented special programming at least once per week during school-wide assemblies. To kick off Black History Month, students demonstrated the powerful impact of words by performing notable speeches made by Black Americans throughout history.
“I presented the magnificent words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a Dream" speech. I presented this to all my fellow Saint Peter's students. I chose this topic because I felt the words really reflected how to make our nation a better place for everyone,” said eighth-grader Chidiebube Dumebi-Kachikwu
Other presentations included information on the Harlem Renaissance and Jazz.
“Jazz was one of the creative influences that grew during the Harlem Renaissance. Jazz became a prominent part of the Great Migration, a time when African Americans spread north to take advantage of new job opportunities. I learned this through my research on the 1920s in Social Studies,” said eight-grader Olivia Cooley.
The Black History Month committee also organized a tag day with the money being donated to a Black run charity. To conclude the month, the committee led the school in a prayer service during which the school choir performed “Hymn to Freedom,” an anthem written in 1962 by jazz musician Oscar Peterson during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
“My favorite part of working on the committee was being able to form ideas with friends for something that really matters,” said eight grader Alexandra Kissal.
“I am so proud of the work of our eighth graders. They came up with so many wonderful ideas that enriched our school-wide Black History Month celebrations,” said Ms. Gallagher.