Hillcrest’s Black History Program Gets Praise from Students and Teachers


Joine Leake, Guest Writer

On Thursday, February 25 2016, Hillcrest High School gathered the majority of its students into the gym for an assembly celebrating African American culture and those that were crucial to gaining rights for Blacks. The assembly was performed twice, with the first run at 8:15 in the morning and the second run at 9:15. The program included music from Hillcrest’s Band and Choir, excerpts from Hillcrest’s drama club, and a personal poem by the guest speaker.

As a student who only attended the first run, I really enjoyed watching the program. Before the program started, everyone in the gym stood up for the pledge of allegiance and sung the black national anthem. After that, we got into the first part of the program with our guest speaker introducing himself and telling us a little bit about himself. He then proceeded to read a poem that he wrote just for the program. It was somewhat emotional to hear about our guest speaker’s, Kwabena Antoine Nixon, past and pride with African American culture. I can tell that the audience of students and teachers felt the same way that I felt and offered nothing but respect for him. It was a nice way to kick off the program and the acts that would follow.

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After that, the Hillcrest Band and Choir performed and it was really nice to see. The song that was played was a cover of Earth, Wind and Fire’s most well-known song, “September.” It was nice to see both the band and the choir having a good time. I wasn’t that involved into their performance (singing and dancing in the audience are just some things you wouldn’t see me do), but I thought that the effort that was put into rehearsing the songs were nice and well put.

Next, Hillcrest’s Drama Club read an excerpt from “The Greensboro Boys,” which tells the story of four African American college students that staged the first ever “sit-in” on February 1, 1960. From what I know about the story, the students walked into a diner and sat in the “whites only” section. Sure, the whites had a problem with these black students sitting in a restricted area, but they couldn’t act on anything because the students haven’t done anything to warrant trouble. This was a form of protest done in order to de-segregate diners and eventually it worked. Overall, this was a nice part of the program.

Then, Hillcrest’s Everett Little began to perform his dance routine. I think it was a tribute to Michael Jackson and James Brown, some of the more famous African Americans during their time, as he danced to Brown’s music and performed just like Jackson. This was another nice moment for the audience.

Lastly, the program ended with a slide of the names of students that achieved honors, high honors and honors with distinction in first semester for the 2015-2016 school year. The aforementioned students also got cups and pens and gifts for their hard work. Although I didn’t see my name, I thought it was a good way to acknowledge the students that do great in school.

All in all, the program was put together really well and I would love to hear that Hillcrest continue the style of this program every year, even after I graduate in May.