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Reflections on Black History Month - Black Migrations: 2019 Black History Program and Stamp Unveiling

Published Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Berkeley County School District Office of Diversity, in collaboration with the Goose Creek Branch of the NAACP and the United States Postal Service, celebrated Black History Month with a program that was held in the Goose Creek High School Auditorium on the evening of February 25.  The theme for the program, Black Migrations, was taken from this year’s Black History Month theme from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

During the program, various participants shared the significance of the theme as they discussed the numerous migration patterns of African Americans, especially those living in the South, beginning in the early 1900s.

Highlights of the program included greetings from various dignitaries and area leaders.  Goose Creek High principal Shameka Washington shared her enthusiasm about the celebration and history behind Black History Month while Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib emphasized the importance of diversity to the City of Goose Creek.  Daryl Martin (United States Postal Service), Corey McClary (Goose Creek City Council), and The Honorable J.A. Moore (SC House of Representatives District #15) also provided words of welcome.

The speaker for the evening, James Hampton, presented his thoughts on Black Migrations and provided the historical perspective of Black History Month through his knowledge and experiences gained as a member of the Walterboro Joint Base Charleston Branch of the Tuskegee Airmen.  He provided a slideshow presentation and display of memorabilia from the respected Tuskegee Airmen fighter group, which flew 1,500 missions during World War II.

Highlighted performances by students from Goose Creek High’s Berkeley Center for the Arts included an original poem entitled Fire recited by sophomore Imani Smith and a dance solo to Billy Holiday’s recording of Strange Fruit was performed by junior Reagan Stoney.

Reagan Stoney

Reagan Stoney - Photo courtesy of John Matthew

The unveiling of the 42nd Black Heritage Stamp brought cheers from the audience as representatives from the United States Postal Service displayed the new postage stamp celebrating the iconic Gregory Hines  (February 14, 1946  – August 9, 2003), tap dancer, actor, director and musician. 

 Black Heritage Stamp

L-R: Dr. Glenda Levine (Mistress of Ceremony & BCSD Chief Diversity Officer), Shameka Washington (Principal GCHS), Veronica Dukes (President Goose Creek NAACP), James Hampton, (Retired Educator and Tuskegee Airman Association Member), and Darryl Martin (USPS District Manager Greater SC District) - Photo courtesy of John Matthew

This event proved to be a great example of collaboration without boundaries, from the young to the old. Educators and community servants worked together to recognize the accomplishments of heroes of the past and to encourage the trailblazers of the future.  It brings to mind a quote from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”  Excellence….the perfect word to describe the collaborative efforts and creativity invested by so many to make this event a success!

Note: This article is the third in a series highlighting some of the programs and events that were held across the school district in honor of Black History Month (February 2019). 

The Office of Diversity will also continue to highlight staff members, events, and activities that celebrate and promote diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion in BCSD schools and surrounding communities. 

Office of Diversity staff members:

Dr. Glenda Levine, Chief Diversity Officer
levineg@bcsdschools.net

and

Vicki Shirar, Administrative Assistant
shirarv@bcsdschools.net