Black History Month
ECHS presents program
by Celia Shortt
“I want people to understand that it’s not just black history,” said East Coweta High School student Derian Pugh. “It’s America’s history.”
Pugh, in her senior year at ECHS, was student program coordinator for “Honoring the past … Inspiring the future,” the school’s Black History Month program held Thursday afternoon.
Coweta County Commissioner Al Smith was the keynote speaker for the program, and he encouraged everyone in attendance to have honor, knowledge, and understanding in their lives.
“What do you honor?” he asked students and attendees. “We all ought to have something we honor.”
“Honor can foster imagination,” he added. “Everyone should be inspired.”
Smith defined honor as “having high regard or great respect for something” and something which is “given or received.”
He quoted from the Bible in Exodus 20:12, which tells children to honor their fathers and mothers. He also talked about Solomon, David’s son, and how when God asked him what he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom.
“If you want to have wisdom, you must ask God first,” he said. “When you have wisdom, you have something that is powerful.”
Smith ended with encouraging the students that their lives should be full of knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
In addition to Smith, the school’s program featured Ronald Hutchinson and his presentation about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American pilots who fought in World War II when the U.S. military was segregated.
Hutchinson is African-American and has spent his life in aviation.
“I’m what you call a torchbearer,” he said. “I’ve been in aviation for 67 years. I can really relate to the Tuskegee Airmen.”
The program also featured student presentations, which included musical numbers, a group vocal performance, and a rendition of the Jimi Hendrix song “Voodoo Child” performed by Melody Kiser.
February is Black History Awareness month.