Staff and students at Dallas ISD’s Benjamin Franklin Middle School took to the school’s auditorium stage to celebrate African-American History Month on Thursday, Feb. 26.
The program began with an interpretive pantomime performance of the African-American experience by drama students, from living in Africa, to being used as slaves, to the civil rights movement in the 1960s and ultimately the swearing-in of President Barack Obama. Students’ faces were covered so that their movements were the sole method of telling the story.
A performance by the girls choir rounded out student participation.
Clarice Tinsley, news anchor at KDFW-FOX 4, encouraged students to not only study African-American accomplishments, but also to take note of the history being made today. She spoke of her roots in Detroit, Mich., and how it was a stop on the Underground Railroad, the pathway slaves took to find freedom before the Civil War. She shared her own path in broadcast journalism and encouraged any students interested in the field should focus on become great writers.
The program culminated with honoring the winning students in this year’s African-American Essay Contest at the school. They are: eighth-grader Christian Evans, first place; seventh-grader Max Asch, second place; and seventh-grader Diasmar Perez, third place.
Dr. Rosined Badía, the school’s librarian and Dallas ISD’s current Librarian of the Year, coordinated the event with help from choir teacher Angela Warner, drama teacher Ursula Hollingsworth, Leadership Cadet Corps instructor Jacqueline Gaylor and Principal Jonathan Parker.