Jan 30, 2018

North Celebrates Black History Month with History, Cultural Celebration

Performance from the 2017 Celebration

For the third year in a row, Pickerington High School North will present the Black History and Cultural Celebration. The public event will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 in the PHSN Performing Arts Center.

This amazing event, organized largely by students under the leadership of PHSN teacher Brionna Patterson, is a powerful night for the whole family. In addition to student performances, enjoy educational activities, a special guest panelist, and an amazing performance by The Ohio State University African American Voices Gospel Choir.

Every year, students have the opportunity to audition a piece of their own work for the program. In the past, this has ranged from poems to spoken word, dancing, singing and more.

Seniors Jaya Bruce and Alexis Walker are performing a poem together in their last program. Both have performed in previous years, but are still a little nervous. “I’m nervous but I’m also excited because our message is good,” Walker said.

“We get a chance to actually express ourselves,” Bruce said. “It’s given me confidence about myself, my culture, and my history.”

To Walker, the program embodies self-expression, but it also means leaving a legacy before she graduates. “It’s about making Black History Month big here at North,” Walker said.

Junior Babiker Higazi has been organizing the panel of professionals that will be speaking, including a professional trainer, gastroenterologist, military personnel, and more. Higazi has been working with other students to develop the questions for the professional panel and to receive long, valuable responses from the experienced panel participants.

The students work hard to create a welcoming and educational atmosphere where people can learn and be more aware about other cultures.

“We all know our own culture, but it’s nice to inform the school about it,” Higazi said. “When you’re able to inform people about your culture, it makes them more sensitive to it.”

The program gives students not only program planning experience, but empowers students to express their creativity and showcase their passions and talents in front of the community.

“The program helped me feel capable of expressing myself as well as informing my peers,” Walker said. “Anything in front of your peers in far more intense than in front of people you’ll never see again.”

North will conduct a school-wide assembly for the Black History and Cultural Celebration during the day on Thursday, Feb. 1, followed by the community program at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and children 12 and under get in free.

Pickerington High School Central’s multicultural club is planning a Black History Month program for February 21, 22, and 23 during the school day. The school will also hold a free community program Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. Additional information on that program will be released soon.