Watchung’s Black History Month Assembly
Friday, March 9, 2018
Above: 4th and 5th graders, and, insert, Joan Gardner.
Watchung held a Black History Month assembly on Feb. 28 that included song and dance performances and special guests.
Fourth and fifth graders opened the assembly with several songs including “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” and “This Little Light of Mine.”
Students then took the stage to talk about Black History Month. “What it teaches is that we can collectively make a difference,” “The color of your skin does not define who you are on the inside,” and “Black history should be acknowledged all year long,” were just some of the messages they delivered.
Joan Gardner gave an uplifting performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
The audience was then treated to the performance “Trailblazers: An homage to those African Americans who did so that we can,” by Montclair’s Premiere Dance Theatre.
At left, Judge Stacey Meisel via video, and right, (l-r) Mayor Robert Jackson, Principal James Earle, and Kathryn Carter.
Special guests answered pre-submitted questions about their backgrounds, influences and advice. United States Bankruptcy Judge Stacey Meisel, the first African-American woman bankruptcy judge in New Jersey, joined via video. “I wouldn’t be here today without those trailblazers who have come before me,” she said. “My advice would be to get your education, be kind, respect people’s differences and do not let anyone set barriers for you.”
Kathryn P. Carter, librarian, told students to “Read, read as much as you can. We need critical thinkers. With your brainpower, energy and spirit you’ll be successful.”
Montclair High School Principal James Earle talked about his upbringing and how he rose above the challenges he encountered. “Great leaders are also great followers,” he said. “You have to set goals for yourself. Focus on being good citizens.”
Mayor Robert Jackson closed out the program with these words of wisdom. “Obstacles will come but you have to overcome them. We have to keep going forward and striving to succeed.”
Montclair's Premiere Dance Theater offered a unique performance.
More on Watchung’s and the district’s Black History Month activities.