Return to Headlines

Celebrating Black History Month

From pioneering inventors to best-selling musicians, Wyandanch Union Free School District highlighted and celebrated the African American men and women who have made influential contributions to the world during Black History Month.

The district hosted Black History Month-themed celebrations with scholars reciting excerpts of speeches from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., showcasing traditional African dances and singing inspirational vocal pieces that highlighted the contributions of African Americans to the nation’s history and culture.

“Black History Month is a time for us to take a moment to reflect on the achievements and contributions of Black Americans past and present,” said Interim Superintendent of Schools Mrs. Arlise Carson. “As educators, we play a key role in shaping our scholars’ minds. Recognizing Black History Month allows our scholars to gain a deeper understanding of Black history and inspiring ways Black Americans have contributed to our country.”

At Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, scholars and parents gathered in the school’s gymnasium for a Black History Month celebration.

Ms. Yvette Mathis’ third grade class began the event with selections of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech followed by biography readings of influential Black figures includig Jesse Owens by Nasiir Hamilton, Madam C.J. Walker by Ashley Guzman and Colin Powerll by Nicholas Lazo.

The MLK Elite Pep Squad and the fifth grade dance team also performed during the event. For the second year, teacher Nicola Mancuso’s class wrote and read their poem, “Good Trouble,” which focused on the work of Representative John Lewis, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. The MLK Junior Warriors Chorus also performed three pieces “I Have a Dream” and “Free at Last” by Teresa Jennings and “Glory” by John Legend and Common.

Wyandanch Memorial High School hosted their Black History Celebration with a variety of performances by students and staff. Opening their event was teacher Michelle Lloyd who powerfully sang “Lift E’vry Voice and Sing” followed by the Wyandanch Memorial High School staff dance group Agojie Queens, who performed an African dance. 

The Wyandanch Vocal Warriors choir brought the Warren Fuller Auditorium to full applause with their version of Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up,” from the feature film “Harriet.”

Jayla Brian, a junior, recited a spoken word piece focusing on the cultural past and inspiring future for Black individuals and Alexis Portwine performed a ballet piece inspired by Black American ballet dancer Misty Copeland.

The celebration also featured the Wyandanch Memorial High School Dance Team, Staff Ensemble, Drumline and the Kappa League.

Black History Month ended with a celebration of Black culture at Lafrancis Hardiman Elementary School. Throughout the school, artwork was on display which showcased Adinkra printmaking from the first grade scholars, and Kehinde Wiley portraits from second grade.

Under the direction of Ms. Sarah Pisano, the pre-kindergarten scholars from the Annex school opened the evening singing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” followed by four songs including “This Little Light of Mine” and “Everybody Ought to Know.”

The students of Mr. Obdulio Garcia presented their musical tribute including “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder, Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” and the song “What Can One Little Person Do.”

Wyandanch Union Free School District is proud to participate in the activities surrounding Black History Month as an opportunity for all scholars and the community to reflect on the contributions African Americans have made in the past, the present and moving into the future.