“It was an awesome program!!!! Our students did a great job!!!” said Sheryl Linton, secretary at Willie Ray Smith Middle School. On February 29, 2016, the school presented ‘African American Voices - From the Mayflower to the Present’. The event began with the presentation of the colors by Central High School’s ROTC. Mr. Ronald Garrett gave the invocation, followed by Principal Tyrus Doctor providing the welcome.
Students Nia Melonson presented the Origins of Black History Month and Kelsie Shropshire paid homage to Willie Ray Smith, Jr. The Unity Dancers for Jesus performed and the students presented African American Memories, featuring figures like Serena Williams, Gabrielle Douglas, Rosa Parks, President Barack Obama, Condoleeza Rice, Ben Carson, and Martin Luther King, among others. Reverend Terrell Wilson was the guest speaker.
"The program was designed to provide students with the opportunities for learning African American History, past and present. Students were engaged by selecting his/her own persona and researched information regarding their contributions to history,” said Dr. Cynthia M. Jackson, Curriculum Coordinator. “Students also assisted with decorations and costumes. It is imperative that students are exposed to these types of learning experiences outside the classroom structure so that learning always has new meanings."