Students and staff at Shawnee Mission North recently gathered to celebrate Black History Month as the school hosted its 17th annual Black History Program.
Students in the school’s Harmony Club organized all aspects of the event with Natalie Johnson-Berry, English Language Arts teacher and Harmony Club sponsor, providing support. Students served as stage managers, technicians, advertising, program and slideshow designers, greeters, and performers.
“The program went extremely well,” Johnson-Berry, said. “It went above and beyond our expectations. The auditorium was filled to capacity. The central message was that African American culture is infused throughout all of American culture and is important every day, not just during one month.”
The Shawnee Mission North Navy Junior reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) opened the event with the presentation of the colors. The presentation included a step team, poetry, guest dancers, rappers, musicians, and singers.
The Shawnee Mission North choir, directed by Juli O’Mealey, performed a gospel vocal ensemble called “Cornerstone.” The Shawnee Mission North dance team, coached by Sarah Juenemann, performed a hip hop routine. The high school jazz band, under the direction of Chad Reed, also performed an arrangement of the Count Basie Orchestra’s “Hay Burner” at the event.
“It was a really good turnout and it was important to me because I feel like we need to have something that we have by ourselves so that we can show everybody what we can really do,” Aliyah Marshall, junior, said.