They learned the history and then taught it. Local youth from various churches, schools, sororities and other groups throughout the community celebrated Black History at the African American Cultural Society’s 14th-annual Youth Black History Reality Show on Sunday, Feb. 19, at its location.
The youth used acting, singing, dancing and writing to highlight African-American achievers from throughout history.
“So many children in our schools have not learned a lot of black history,” said Jeannette Wheeler, chairman of the Youth Black History Reality Committee. “With this program, we want to make them aware that we have played a very important part in American history. We have a lot of inventers, writers and a lot of other people who have helped shape our society.”
Flagler Palm Coast senior Alana Williams steered the program as the Mistress of Ceremony. She was accompanied by other youth who read poetry from African-American poets such as Maya Angelou (Boys & Girls Club), performed songs from black music entertainers like Prince (Eric Dangerfield), executed African dance and historic step routines (AKA Ascend Network, Emerald Legacy and Ebony Society), and acted as historical characters such as Louis Armstrong (Justus Johnson), Mathematician Catherine Johnson — one of the women whose life is highlighted in theatrical film “Hidden Figures” — (Edwina Mezo Brown) and Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson (Jordan Pittmon).
Donald Bryant, who depicted Grambling State University's former head football coach Eddie Robinson — who sits in second all-time with 408 NCAA Division I wins, said, "I was excited to play as a football coach, because I play football for Matanzas. I am honored to represent these black figures every year; I learn a lot as I become the person."
“These young students researched the characters, so they could understand some of the black trailblazers we’ve have,” Wheeler said. “This program is about making young students feel proud of themselves and their rich heritage.”
AACS President Joe Matthews was pleased with the ceremony, saying, “As far as the presentation goes — especially with the little ones — I thought it went very well and was well-received. It was actually one of our best programs, and I expect it get better every year.”
The major theme for the program was “knowledge is power.” The goal was to show that knowledge is acquired by more than reading. It can be learned through exercise, trips, experiments, writing, observing, and listening.