DHS assembly marks Black History Month
Published 2:27 pm Friday, March 3, 2023
BY LANCE GAITHER
On Tuesday, Danville High School held a special assembly to honor and celebrate Black History Month.
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“The three pillars of our school are academics, athletics and arts. We want to be sure we celebrate and honor the diversity we have within in those pillars,” said DHS Principal Chad Luhman. “One of our big goals right now is pushing towards deeper learning. How do we do personalize it towards the student to where they find value but also find something out about diverse cultures and experiences throughout? We are dedicated to honoring that idea. I want to meet the needs of every student at Danville High School.”
The assembly included performances by the Danville High School Choir, poetry readings, student led interviews of African-American business owners and school alumni, and speeches from Danville School Board Member and Centre College Director of Diversity and Inclusion Melinda Weathers and President of the Danville-Boyle County African American Historical Society Michael Hughes.
Weathers’ speech detailed a trip she took in January to Ghana.
“I experienced every opportunity I could, the food, the culture, the music, the dancing. I embraced it all while I was there. I felt such a connection because I knew that was where my ancestors came from.” Weathers said. “I had a really emotional and impactful experience when I was there. We traveled to the Cape Coast region and visited the slave dungeons and I walked in the same places my ancestors were held captive. The conditions were despicable. It was unfathomable to think about the amount of evil perpetrated towards other humans there. I heard about it in school but didn’t have the full understanding what my ancestors went through. It made me appreciate Black History Month even more.”
Hughes graduated from Danville High School in 1968 and shared about his experiences in a segregated school system and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. which occurred his senior year.
“As news that Dr. King had been assassinated spread, many students were at the steps crying, angry and in disbelief,” Hughes said. “Many wanted to go to the streets. As seniors we convinced them that the nonviolent approach that Dr. King preached most of his life was what was needed at the time. We all kneeled, we all prayed. We prayed again, for our nation, for our city, and we prayed for our school. We never envisioned that we were in a black history moment.”
As a member of the school board, Weathers hopes that lessons on diversity can be incorporated throughout the school district.
“It’s about incorporating the voices of different folks throughout the curriculum,” Weathers said, “To have celebrations like this is a start, but we look at how can infuse it in the curriculum, in sporting events. For example, we could sing the Negro National Anthem sometimes before games. It’s about infusing aspects of blackness and other groups throughout the school.”
A recording of the assembly can be viewed on the Danville Schools YouTube channel.