A virtual Farmington Public Schools Black History Month Celebration debuted Wednesday evening, with student performances and conversations with local residents who were part of the U.S. Civil Rights movement.
The theme for the 5th annual event, held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is “We are Black History.”
Student performances included music, original spoken word pieces, and dance. Members of Hillside Elementary’s “Dream Kings” leadership program for 4th and 5th graders shared presentations about their unsung heroes.
Acting Superintendent Bobbie Hayes Goodrum moderated a panel discussion with Patricia Coleman-Burns, pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church of Farmington Hills, and Ray Randolph, Jr., a member of the Freedom Riders who fought segregation in the South. Farmington High students Akilah Mullapudi and Victoria Atwater, both active in the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Acceptance) Club, asked about their religious influences, identity, and experiences.
“I think it’s so important for everyone to recognize that we have Black history icons in our neighborhoods,” Goodrum said. “This is what they’ve had to endure, and they live down the street from you.”