Written by Brea Butler-Gilton, Senior AmeriCorps Member proudly serving on the AT&T team at Broadmoor High School.
"Those who have no record of what their forbears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history." - Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black History Month
There are few quotes that relate more to the purpose of Black History Month than this. At Broadmoor High, our team has taken the task of education and inspiration to heart, putting on five different initiatives throughout the month of February. Broadmoor's hallways have been adorned with posters honoring Black historical figures, students have dressed up and participated in our weekly Living Museum, and teachers have decorated their doors to reflect on the month. These all led up to our culminating event, our Black History Month Program, which took place on Thursday, February 22nd.
Students filed into the auditorium by class, greeted with the sounds of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". The program opened with our award winning JROTC students presenting the colors. A rendition of Nina Simone's "Four Women" followed, sang by four of our talented students. Our keynote speaker, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, addressed our student body concerning the program's theme "We Are Black History". Being the first Black woman to be elected Mayor-President of Baton Rouge, she had a lot to say to our students about how history is made. She quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying, "We are not makers of history. We are made by history." She encouraged our students to exceed expectations and make history in their own ways by being their own unique selves. After her rousing speech, she was presented a key to Broadmoor by City Year AmeriCorps Member Jalen Shelvin and his student co-host.
The rest of the program was filled with various other student and teacher performances. The Black National Anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was played on the saxophone by band director Mr. Sharlow. Ms. Duncan, who teaches IBCA and Principles of Marketing, performed a liturgical dance. AmeriCorps Member Ron Comeaux delivered Jesse William's BET Awards speech. Students in attendance applauded, cheered, and celebrated along with each performance. Our principal, Mr. Boatner, closed the program by reminding students that he too was Black History; Mr. Boatner is Broadmoor High's first Black male Principal. Students chants of "We Are Black History" echoed through the auditorium as they exited.
I believe that our program made a profound impact on our student body, reminding them that everybody can be great. Each one of them is history in the making, and I can’t wait to see the future figures Broadmoor High produces.