The Andress High School community celebrated Black History Month Thursday night with a lesson on the Buffalo Soldiers, a taste of soul food and the words of poet Maya Angelou.
The event kicked off with a performance by Powell Elementary students and a poetry reading from the high school’s CDL program. Andress Military Family Liaison Shalon Caldwell organized the event for the past few years at Bassett Middle School. This is the first time the event takes place at Andress.
“Events like this are important for all cultures so the students can see there are positive role models out there,” Caldwell said.
Trustee Chuck Taylor shared a special history lesson with students and parents about the role African American soldiers played during the Civil War as part of the Buffalo Soldiers.
“It is important for our students to learn the history of the United States in its entirety, so they can better contribute as citizens of this nation,” Taylor said.
Students played an active role in the event, with performances from the Andress cheer squad, orchestra, jazz band and JROTC. Guests were also welcome to take part in a special dinner at the school’s cafeteria.
Andress junior Eric Simmons helped prepare the food during his cooking class.
“It’s really great we can get everyone out to come together,” Simmons said.
Student council member Shamya McDowell, who was helping out at the event, echoed Simmons’ thoughts about togetherness.
“I think it’s really great to celebrate Black History month,” McDowell. “It’s a good opportunity for a lot of people to come together. A lot of schools came out to help.”
Other guest speakers included, Area 2 Superintendent Dr. Royce Avery, former POW and Andress alumna Shoshana Johnson and representatives from various community agencies.