TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Each February, Chiles High School holds a black history assembly.
The tradition goes back to about 2002. It started out of the need to educate students about black history.
The topic chosen for this year is based on our nation's motto of "E Pluribus Unum," which means out of many one.
Putting the program together was a challenge with some students on campus and the rest online. So instead of an in-person assembly, the planning committee put together a pre-recorded video.
“It’s a little more challenging to engage the student body when we’re in digital versus brick and mortar,” said Chiles student Destiny Stewart. “In a normal year, we’d go around campus and put up a poster. We’d tell our friends, friends will tell friends and encourage everybody. Everybody would come to the assembly and look forward to that. But that isn’t there this year, so we still have to find a way to engage them.”
Chiles’ students watched the video on Friday during 3rd period.
Circuit Judge Anthony Miller served as the main speaker. The video also featured a vocal artist.
“We used a song called I can’t breathe by the artist H.E.R. and that really emulates our theme,” said Chiles student Abby Eno. “It really highlights what has gone on over the past year and a half. And we tried to make that also the main song of the program.”
On campus, there’s a feeling that Black History Month is different this year.
Hudson Taylor found that his classmates are asking more questions.
“They’re trying to be more educated on the subjects that we’re talking about in class,” said Taylor. “So I feel like that’s different than last year when they’d just go on with their day. Now they’re trying to learn and be better than they were before.”
Assistant Principal John Swope is the sponsor of the Black History Board at Chiles. Their goal for this project was to create unity.
“It's easy to just keep moving forward without ever taking care of some of the cracks in the things that can tear us apart,” said Swope. “The whole vision of this was out of many one. But how much are we working to become one? And becoming one takes work.”
Their YouTube video can be viewed by clicking here.