South Huntington’s Black History Month presentation took center stage Thursday, February 17th in the Walt Whitman High School Performing Arts Center. Hosted by the African American Heritage Club, advisor Pamela Johnson oversaw a flawless evening that highlighted this year’s theme: “Celebration of Black Film!”
Students, alumni and special guests paid tribute to important contributions in our history with a collection of literature readings, facts, spoken word, dance, and musical performances that kept the packed house wanting more. After beginning the evening with the singing of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” by senior TaTianna Lane, Walt Whitman Principal Ken Costa introduced keynote speaker and BOE Trustee, Mr. Sidney Joyner, who brought inspiring words of wisdom to the stage.
Our students from Oakwood Primary Center opened the floor with the singing of “Ease on Down the Road,” under the direction of new music teacher Lisa Morabito. The Countrywood Chorus, under the direction of Ms. DiNorcia followed with their performance of “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Taking the risers next was Maplewood’s Chorus for the singing of “Lean on Me,” beautifully directed by Ms. Melillo who accompanied their sweet voices on the piano.
Members of the African American Heritage Club took the microphone between sets for “Did you know?” segments, sharing interesting facts about influential African American actors such as Hattie McDaniel and Jordan Peele. Taking the stage for a series of dance selections was the Latino Heritage Club, before Birchwood’s media presentation, offering inspiring words from a variety of influential Black role models that were sure to resonate with the entire audience.
Paying homage to this year’s theme, the Silas Wood/Stimson Intramural Band performed Harry Belafronte’s “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” commonly known from the movie BeetleJuice. Topping off the evening and commanding centerstage was Walt Whitman’s own Step Team, coached by Ms. Johnson. These talented students put on an incredible show for the crowd.
Concluding the evening’s celebration was Ms. Johnson who thanked those responsible for making this year’s celebration the best ever. A special thank you to the talented and dependable members of the Walt Whitman African American Heritage Club who expertly interspersed the various musical and dance performances with historical readings that shared many facts about African American contributions to today’s society.