Schools observe Black History Month

Yuri Boler as Bass Reeves, one of the first black Deputy U.S. Marshals west of the Mississippi River. He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory. During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons. Photo/Submitted

Schools across the county, elementary, middle and high, observed Black History Month throughout the month of February with a variety of programs and activities.

From multicultural assemblies and performances of “Raising a President” by Joanna Maddox, to artwork focused on Martin Luther King’s dream for peace, and posters and morning broadcasts highlighting African-Americans who have made huge contributions to America, students throughout the county celebrated the importance of Black History.

Several elementary schools, such as North Fayette Elementary, showcased important persons in Black History by presenting them in a wax museum. Fifth grade social studies students in Calise Black’s and Stephanie Patrylo’s classes presented the museum at the school February 15 and 16. As part of their assignment, students had to complete a research paper, prepare a speech, and create a display board.

Dressed as the person they were portraying, students took their poses, holding them until directed to come to life and talk about the accomplishments of that person. The list of individuals represented in the museum included some famous and well-known African-Americans, as well as some who are less popular but have made significant contributions to the nation.

Among the more popular figures were Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, the Obamas, and Langston Hughes. Persons not so well known included Cathay Williams, an American soldier who enlisted in United States Army under the pseudonym William Cathay, and was the first African-American woman to enlist; Eugene Jacques Bullard, the first African-American military pilot, and Patricia Bath, the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology and the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent, inventing the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986.