Feb 19, 2018

PHSC Students Produce and Perform ‘Awaken,’ Black History Month Program

Students on stage at Pickerington Central's first Black History Month program in 2017

For the second year in a row, the Multicultural Club at Pickerington High School Central will present its Black History Month program, Awaken. The free community program will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in the PHSC Performing Arts Center and is open to the public.

Performances will include two skits; two fashion shows, one with traditional African dress and one with a decade theme; and a 1920s dance with interracial couples. Students will also read poems about protests and segregation and perform a traditional African dance.

Central’s Black History Month program came about last year when students dreamed of an event to recognize and honor black history. With just a small team of students, the first idea was to produce a fashion show. But as creative juices began to flow, the event grew into something bigger. The team decided to create an event with demonstrations of black history and the significance of its impact on their lives.

Students met frequently to finalize the program in a short amount of time. “We had phone calls late at night to organize and adjust every aspect of the program,” said Mariyam Muhammad, a founding member of the Black History Month program. “It took a lot of persistence, determination, and commitment. A little went a long way. We created something so beautiful and meaningful.”

This year, the student-led production, Awaken, will have four performances. In addition to the community program, students will run the show for their peers during the school day on Feb. 21, 22, and 23. This year’s student leaders are Maraya Cole, Hebah Guade, and Mariyam Muhammad.

The goal of the program is to educate and create unity. “There was a lot we wanted to put out there to show how important this month was,” Guade said. “Black History Month is a chance during the year to recognize and pay respect to black Americans and African Americans.”

The student leaders have worked hard to make the program a creative outlet for all students to share and to learn something new about the people who came before them.

The program will pay homage to black history, highlight the past and present, and push for the future. “This generation is yearning for equality in all different aspects,” Cole said. “Why not show how far we’ve come, and also recognize what we can do to go even further.”