Beginning with spirituals, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” followed by “I’m A-Rolling Through an Unfriendly World,” Oral Moses, professor of voice and music literature at Kennesaw State University, opened the school assembly that highlighted the accomplishments of African-Americans and provided insight from a former CMS student.
“History reminds us how important it is to pass down gifts, knowledge, talent and values to the next generation,” Marian Coleman, curator for Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center, said during the assembly. “Our African-American history provides a history, a timeline of events and people and the possibility to learn from the mistakes of others and to reflect on the contributions of African-Americans ...
“The story of the African-Americans is not only a part of our nation’s history, but their struggles and the strides they had to make serves as an inspiration and helps us learn to appreciate a people who came to this country as slaves and then flourished into some of the most important, famous and outstanding people known to man.”
During her speech to students Coleman read an article given to her by the late Rev. Charles Fluellen, who was scheduled to speak at the event, that cited contributions from African-American inventors, like John Standard’s refrigerator and Frederick Douglass’ air conditioner.
Former student Damisha Moore, who transferred to Shorter University from University of Miami where she played two seasons for the Hurricanes, spoke to the crowd about her experiences growing up at CMS and how learning about the contributions of African-Americans to U.S. history has influenced her life. She said the most important lesson she learned from a teacher while attending CMS, and from African-American history, was that “believing in oneself” was the first step in becoming successful.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t have a plan, he had a dream,” Moore said.
Student Council President Adam Harper said something interesting he learned during Black History Month was how many household appliances were invented by African-Americans. He provided his perspective on the month.
“We have [Black History Month] every year, and I think we learn how much of a contribution blacks are because it seems like history is written by a lot of white people and so when we have Black History Month we learn how many contributions African-Americans have made to society,” Harper said.