The Marionette

Cut to Black (History Month)

Rachel Rose, Reporter

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February’s Black History Month assembly was a moving tribute to African American culture, put together by a committee of students that included seniors Jackie Boone and Jake Lange, juniors Rhonda Cummings and Shanece Wilson, and sophomore Justice Clark. Teachers involved were Joshua Higginbotham, Crystal Walker and Kelli Taylor.

Boone was the first to become involved in the organizing. “Originally, there wasn’t even going to be an assembly. But I felt like Black History Month needed to be celebrated. I also wanted to do it a little differently than in the past. I got Shanece to help me. We talked to [Joe] Hughes, who is the 9th/10th grade assistant principal. He liked our idea and we got started planning,” Boone said.

Jeremy Thomas and Am’re Ford performed first, playing the piano and violin, respectively. Both musicians were friends of Taylor, who asked them to perform. Thomas is a respected musician who plays drums, piano, organ and guitar. Ford is a violinist and manages SymDesign Music Agency.

One of the other highlights of the program was a reading of an original poem by Cummings. The poem, entitled “Black” was inspired by the stereotype of what a black person is and what it means to be black.

“It is not the stereotypical box of watermelon, Kool-Aid, and fried chicken.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               In fact, I prefer water, with my chicken off the grill,” Cummings stated in her poem.

“Everyone in the black community is unique. There isn’t one type of black. People don’t always realize that in any culture, no person fits into one box. It’s not just black and white; there’s an in between that people don’t think about,” Cummings said.

The featured speaker was Anita Arnold. Arnold has been the executive director of Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc. since 1991. She has authored several cultural history books and is the recipient of the coveted Governor’s Arts Award and the Oklahoma City/County Pathmaker Award. She spoke about black history in Oklahoma City, in particular at Douglass High School and in the Deep Deuce neighborhood. She talked about Charlie Christian, an Oklahoma City teenager who was known for bringing the electric guitar to the forefront of the jazz ensemble, making it a solo instrument when it hadn’t been before. Arnold concluded the program with a Q&A  session.



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The student news site of Harding Charter Preparatory High School
Cut to Black (History Month)