Clovis Unified School District presented a virtual celebration, “Awakening the Strengths of our Culture.” The event was moderated by CUSD students and live streamed on the district’s website.
“Today we are privileged to pay special attention to black history but more importantly to shine a light on the need to promote black history and education, 365 days a year,” said Naazima Abdul-Hamed, CUSD student.
The presentation was solely student-driven. The event highlighted iconic black figures, interpreted dancing performances, and poetry.
“After all, studies show that black children are empowered and enthusiastic about learning black history. It builds self-esteem, leadership, and teaches all children the historical values of more than 400 years of struggle, resilience, and perseverance,” said Adul-Hamed.
Two modern-day icons were featured. The first was Nia Franklin, the first black woman crowned Miss America 2019, breaking the eurocentric beauty standard.
Another icon was the late Chadwick Boseman. Throughout his acting career, he refused to take roles that depicted the stereotypical black man in Hollywood. Boseman was best known for his role as the hero, T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther, which set a milestone in black culture.
A rendition of the classical jazz song, “Summertime” was also performed by a CUSD student. The song was originally sung by Ella Fitzgerald, released in 1957 but originally composed by George Gershwin in 1934.
A CUSD student stated that Historically Black Colleges and Universities played a role in the strengthening of Black History.
HBCU’s provided schooling for African-American students when there was a time pursuing education at a white institution was impossible.
The event is still available for viewing on CUSD’s website. To watch, click here.