The Patrick Henry Post

Special Edition: Black History Month

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Black History Month Talent Show

February 25th, 2022

This Friday, the Patrick Henry community came together to celebrate Black History Month with our 3rd Annual Black History Month Talent Show. Our students and staff researched for months to find inspiration from our past. They researched influential people, events, historical movements, trends, and even current events that are influential throughout black history. Students were looking for a spark that spoke to them and their interests. Students then worked together in small groups or with their entire class to create a presentation that was both informative and celebratory. The theme of our performance was "Honoring the Past while Celebrating the Future." We were proud of our students not only for their hard work and preparation, but also for the way they honored our brave ancestors who stood up for civil rights, who achieved incredible things against incredible odds, and who paved the way for all of our freedoms today.


Congratulations to our incredibly talented students and our dedicated staff for a beautiful performance, and thank you to all of our visitors for joining the virtual performance! We wish all of you a peaceful Black History Month, and we hope that we never forget -

Black history IS American history!

Ms. Butler and Ms. Brown's 5th Graders

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Ms. Butler and Ms. Brown joined forces as the 5th graders researched HBCUs - Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Students researched what an HBCU is, the history of the HBCU movement, and specific HBCUs throughout the country. They specifically mentioned our local HBCU - Harris Stowe State University - where many of our own teachers attended school for undergraduate and graduate degrees. It was especially inspiring to see our oldest students so focused on research that applies directly to their futures. As our fifth graders prepare to graduate from Patrick Henry and move on to middle school, they are one step closer to the college or career of their choice. We know that many of our students will attend the very HBCUs that they researched this year!

Ms. Hammock's 4th Graders

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Ms. Hammock's students split their performances into three presentations. First, a dance to Beyonce's "Run the World," and then two poetry readings that had been memorized by the students. The students were inspired by the words of both the poems and the song, creating a performance that honored black writing and creativity. "Run the World" by Beyonce seemed especially appropriate at the end of Black History Month and the beginning of Women's History Month. One of the poems, "The Bronze Legacy (To a Brown Boy)," was written by Effie Lee Newsome, and the beautiful verse is included below:


'Tis a noble gift to be brown, all brown

Like the strongest things that make up this earth,

Like the mountains grave and grand,

Even like the trunks of trees -

Even oaks, to be like these!

God builds His strength in bronze.


To be brown like thrush and lark!

Like the subtle wren so dark!

Nay, the king of beasts wears brown;

Eagles are of this same hue.

I thank God, then, I am brown.

Brown has mighty things to do.

Ms. Ivory's 3rd and 4th Graders

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Ms. Ivory's students presented three song performances that celebrated the legacy of our black brothers and sisters who came before us. Their final performance celebrated the future of that legacy in our students. All three performances spoke to a strong history that inspired the future. One of the songs, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," is also known as the Black National Anthem. The lyrics of the first two verses are included below:


Lift every voice and sing

Till earth and heaven ring

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty

Let our rejoicing rise

High as the listening skies

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea


Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun

Let us march on till victory is won

Ms. Jackson's 2nd and 3rd Graders

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Ms. Jackson's students split up by gender to perform two songs, celebrating the legacy of Harriet Tubman and Michael Jackson. The song "Stand Up" by Cynthia Erivo is the title song from the movie "Harriet," a film that celebrates Harriet Tubman's life and legacy as a woman who freed slaves, fought injustices, and constantly put herself in danger to help others. The lyrics of the song say:


That's when I'm gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin' on
I can feel it in my bones


The beauty of these words were felt throughout Ms. Jackson's student performance!

Ms. Jami's 2nd Graders

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Ms. Jami's second grade students performed a song and dance routine to "A Million Dreams." The choreographed dance included ribbon dancing, singing, and even a presentation of art projects made through the COCA art partnership with Ms. Godfrey! The lyrics of the song are about living in a world that WE get to design where we are living out our dreams. Some of the artwork from the students included dreams of love, hope, peace, acceptance, and friendship for our future. It was exciting to think about the next generation dreaming of such a bright future.

Ms. Versen's 1st Graders

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Ms. Versen's students presented their beautiful research projects to the audience at the Talent Show. Students chose significant figures in black history and celebrated these amazing African Americans who changed the world. Not only did the students present the facts they learned, but they also presented the artwork they created during their research. Their artwork was not only a wonderful representation of the people they studied, but also an impressive collection of their artistic creativity!

Ms. Teska's 1st Graders

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Ms. Teska's students sang "What I Am" by will.i.am for their performance. The song speaks to believing in yourself and always following your dream. Rap artist will.i.am is well known for his successful music career, but before he became a professional musician, he was a student living with his mom in a low-income neighborhood of Los Angeles. His mom always encouraged him to be unique and creative, and he never gave up on his dream to be a singer. The lyrics of his song speak to that dream:


If what I am is what's in me

Then I'll stay strong - that's who I'll be

And I will always be the best

"Me" that I can be


There's only one me, I am it

Have a dream I'll follow it

It's up to me to try


Oh! I'm a keep my head up high (high!)

Keep on reaching high (high!)

Never gonna quit

I'll be getting stronger

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Ms. Willard's Kindergarteners

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Ms. Willard's kindergarteners researched for a long time, not only about important people, events, and movements of black history, but also about different types of performances they might participate in for our Talent Show. One student, Zemir, discovered his ability to write beautiful and powerful rap! The students performed their class rap with such intensity it nearly brought tears to my eyes. One line in particular stood out to me, and that was the students insisting that black history MUST make its way into every textbook, every class, and every school. At Patrick Henry, we couldn't agree more! Black history IS American history and it must be a part of our future!

Ms. Wolfe's Kindergarteners

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Ms. Wolfe's students researched Mr. Garrett Morgan, the inventor of the stoplight. Students got to research Mr. Morgan and create an edible art project! They used M&Ms to create their version of a traffic light, and of course they got to eat their art after the project was completed. Mr. Morgan's invention is of course still in use today, keeping everyone safe on the road in every state, every city, and every neighborhood. In fact, Dr. Rogers is working hard to get more traffic lights around Patrick Henry because they decrease road accidents!

Ms. Smith and Ms. Munnelly's Preschoolers

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Our preschoolers performed an energetic version of "The Wheels on the Bus," complete with singing and dancing. Students studied Rosa Parks and her historic protest during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger - even though every system in place required her to move to the "colored" section at the back of the bus, Rosa stood up for her right to sit anywhere on the bus. She stood up for all people to have the right to enjoy their civil liberties, no matter their skin color. Our preschoolers studied Rosa's example for all of us and celebrated her courage.

Thank you, Patrick Henry Staff!

Thank you to all of our teachers and support staff who made this program possible. It takes a lot of effort to make this kind of program happen, and our staff makes it a priority every year to make sure their students are shining in lights and learning!

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