“Hear You, Hear Me: A Showcase of African American Excellence” was the theme for this year’s Black History Month Celebration held on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. The poignant theme set the tone as this year marks the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. This year’s guest speakers included Dr. Errol D. Toulon, Jr., Suffolk County Sheriff and Ms. Portia Ingram, Deputy Director of Community Affairs. The poignant theme from Langston Hughes’ poem, “Theme for English B” highlighted the importance of being heard and set the tone for the evening’s festivities.
On February 12, Centereach High School hosted their annual presentation of Black History Month. The event was hosted by the History Club, as they handle all of the cultural celebrations here at CHS. The theme this year was “Hear You, Hear Me,” and it stemmed from the anniversaries of the 15th and 19th Amendment. The celebration focused on what it really means to have one’s voice heard and the true value of that. The guest speakers of the evening, Dr. Errol D. Toulon and Ms. Portia Ingram, really touched on that message as their speeches focused on how someone’s actions and/or words widely contributes to their community in meaningful ways. During the event involved the presentations of important African American figures such as Miles Davis and Maya Angelou, as well as the posters that highlighted their accomplishments. For this, students took posters made during the Civil Rights Movement and recreated them based on their own interpretations. There was also a dance performance that showcased choreography inspired by Beyonce and an African American form of step dancing. The dance had apparently taken two weeks to prepare. According to the History Club Advisor, Ms. Katsionis, “It required a lot of focus and hours. It couldn’t have been done without the help of the dance’s choreographers, Kalanji Clarke, Ebube Uwechia, Taliyah Windley and her mom.” Because of their extra contribution and their hard work, these four had received awards of recognition on this night as well. This was a group of highly motivated student and they are directly responsible for the night’s success. Ms. Katsionis also noted, “There were 35 participants in terms of prepping the event, PowerPoint, performance and art work, etc. Ms. Angeleti’s art classes helped as well; they helped with the art collages.” The night had an overall outstanding turnout.