Daniel Pearl Magnet High School

Students educated with the rich history of Black History Month

Junior Jade Ajileye looks over the statement pieces that were laid out for students to see. (Ani Kocharyan)
Junior Jade Ajileye looks over the statement pieces that were laid out for students to see. (Photo Credit: Ani Kocharyan)

Live performances by members of the school’s Get Lit team, timelines and a movie filled the multi-purpose room (MPR) last Friday with a warm atmosphere as students walked along the colorfully decorated walls learning more about black history and African-American culture.

“I love it,” Madgeolyn “Madge” Wooten, campus security, said of coordinating the event with social studies teacher Davy Mauermann. “I felt happy and elated people would help one another and represent the culture.”

The displays included pictures of and papers about African-American poets and inventors, images of comfort food that helps the audience connect more to the culture and the faces of Afro-Cubans who students know and should know more about.

The various projects and art displayed paid tribute to the heritage and culture, with senior Ricardo Rojas’s drawings of famous figures like Ida B. Wells and original poetry about slavery by senior Katarina Lashley. Dozens of students including the DPMHS choir, social studies students and poets such as senior Ruby Rodriguez contributed their talents to the performances and their research to the posters for the event.

“It’s Black History Month so we wanted to celebrate it,” Rodriguez said. “It felt powerful, it’s all about recognition.”

The poets had an all women team to pay tribute to the African-American women that have been neglected in the Black Lives Matter movement, reciting poems about plantation work and the historical importance of black women in history. When the poets took the stage, their intensity could be felt as they belted the lines verse by verse to their audience, all of which were captivated by the presentation.

“The poems were really powerful,” sophomore Genevieve Avalos said. “I also liked how the posters represented a lot of black and African-American artists.”

In addition to the posters, performances and other displays there was art, books and interactive aspects that the students could really engage with. A table was set up with string and beads for bracelet making and Madge was sitting with candies as prizes for a guessing game about black Oscar award recipients. At the end of the day though, this event served as a means of representation and education about the prosperous culture of African Americans and blacks, bringing attention to their plights and history.

“I just wanted kids to get more aware, culturally,” Madge said. “My job is to inform, not to worry if it’s light.”