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February 6, 2009

LHS: Students celebrate black history in song, skits, poetry and dance

Everything you do matters.

That was the message of the Lockport High School Black History Club’s annual Black History event Thursday. Lockport students celebrated black history with skits, poetry readings, dances and singing in front of an auditorium full of parents, community members and fellow students.

“It was a good turnout, a wonderful evening, I think everyone had a good time,” said Monica Harling, Lockport teacher and club adviser. “We tried to mix it up a little bit.”

Guest speaker Anthony Neal, an associate professor of political science at Buffalo State College, spoke before the performances. Neal started off by explaining how February became black history month and the importance of it. He said the remembrance started in the 1920s when historian Carter Woodson started a “Black History Week,” which would eventually grow to a month-long event. Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglas.

“The reason that Carter G. Woodson established this time to look at black history is because he believed if people did not study their history, they could not go forward,” Neal said. “They had to look back to see where they had come from before they could move forward.”

Neal spoke about attending the inauguration of President Barack Obama last month with a group of Buff State students. Despite the weather, Neal said everyone there, about 2 million plus, did not lose heart over the joyous occasion. Obama’s election was the third time Neal has had to rewrite his lecture notes. The first was when President Bill Clinton became the second president to be impeached, and the second was when President George W. Bush became the first president in more than 100 years to lose the popular vote but win in the electoral college.

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