Tri-Community & Youth Agency and the Huntington High School step team sponsored an informative and entertaining Black History Month celebration last week.
Huntington grad Crystal White started the evening off with opening remarks and senior Jolena Smith took it from there, serving as master of ceremonies. The event drew crowd of several hundred to the high school auditorium.
The program included skits, songs, dances, poems and special tributes to Jahlia Hawkins and Shirley Ceasar. Town of Huntington Director of Minority Affairs Kevin Thorbourne was honored for his contributions to the community, including being one of the founders of Young Leaders, a local youth development organization.
“The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States,” according to the History Channel’s website. “That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the group sponsored a national Negro History Week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.”
The contributions of Africans Americans to the culture and very fabric of the United States was celebrated in the high school auditorium. Dozens of energetic performers were coordinated behind the scenes by Ms. White and by high school security guard Youlanda Carey.
A Huntington High School alum, Mr. Thorbourne has coached Blue Devil sports teams in addition to his work for the town and with Young Leaders. He’s always ready to pitch in and lend a hand when his help is needed. “We honored him because he goes over and above in all that he does for the community,” Ms. Smith said.
The annual show made its debut in Huntington about a decade ago, said Ms. Smith. “It has always been a success,” she added. Professional DJ Glen DeVeau, a district security guard, donated his services to make the evening even more special.