Feb. 28, 2022 - Ackerman students received a roar of applause from audience members following the school’s annual Black History Month program. Ackerman’s choir sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The middle school group Diamond Divas performed a step route and sang a song, and a student performed solo singing “A Change is Gonna Come,” by Sam Cooke.
“We did a lot of practicing and a lot of rehearsing,” said Michelle Flynn, social worker and program coordinator. “Some students started preparing as early as October. We try to include as much representation as possible and keep it student centered. We celebrate Black history all year long, but we especially live it up during the month of February.”
This is the first time that the show included an act by an outside organization. The Black Rep performed the play “Plan B,” which is about a young girl who brings awareness to climate change by participating in a protest. During the month of February, Gail Ross, a teacher’s assistant and program coordinator, also puts together a morning announcement titled “I Am Somebody” to highlight successful Black people throughout American history. It goes a little something like this: “I became the first Black female millionaire by selling hair products. My name is Madam C.J. Walker and I am somebody.”
Gail Ross has been leading the Black History Month program at Ackerman for over 25 years. She has no plans to stop anytime soon.
“Unless I retire, I plan to do it year after year,” said Ross. “With the support of other staff, we make it a lot of fun and everyone enjoys learning something new.”