BRAWLEY – Brawley Union High School held an assembly Thursday morning honoring Black History Month in the new basketball gym.
Students and faculty packed the gym along with the school band led by Amy Dailey.
Physical education teacher Ronette Gray-Jones organized the event and emceed the festivities.
Students and teachers gave speeches from the past, sang songs, and honored black leaders from the United States and also Nelson Mandela from South Africa.
The Buffalo Soldiers were honored with a slide show highlighting their service. Formed in 1861, the all black army regiment continued to serve America until 1951.
“Black history is American history,” said James Haley, BUHS basketball coach. “That is the truth. Without us all working together, where would we be?”
Assisting Ms. Gray-Jones with the event was Anita Jones, business teacher.
“This is a wonderful privilege to enlighten the students about a history of a people who have been here since the inception of this country,” said Ms. Jones. “It has been my delight to be a part of this program every year. I thank the administration for giving us this wonderful opportunity.”
Lashay Yancy sang a moving rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly.
Donald O. Walker, former BUHS counselor and special education teacher, was dressed in traditional African clothing. Mr. Walker gave a dramatic reading of the timeless Martin Luther King Jr. ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
“I think that in all human affairs,” said Walker, “there are the strengths and the efforts, and the strength and the effort is the measure of the result. Throughout history, it’s the strength and the effort.”
Superintendent at Brawley Union High School District Dr. Hasmik Danielian summed up the event.
“I think that the kids and Mrs. Gray-Jones did an awesome job,” said Danielian. “The fact that the gym was packed with students and faculty shows the respect that we display towards the cultural diversity of our student population. I really think that is powerful.”