Franciscan Sisters Celebrate Black History Month at St. Francis of Assisi School

As families and friends of St. Francis of Assisi School gathered for the Black History Month Program Fr. Greg led the assembly in prayer.  Sister Mary Ann offered announcements and  thanked the teachers and staff for all their hard work. She specially acknowledged Mr. Travis Walls, the Music Director.

 The entire student body joined together to open the program with the Gospel song, I’m So Glad.

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Looking at each of their faces you could see how glad and eager they were!

Next the Pre-Kindergarten Class focused on Black Figures in Literature. They recited the poem by Carol Oaks, Ruby Bridges Shows the Way followed by singing; Every Move I Make. Their movement showed great enthusiasm!

 

The Kindergarteners Sang, "We are Marching" and shared with us the lives of Father Augustine Tolton and Sister Thea Bowman.

After a grand entrance march from the back of the church to the front the Kindergarteners presented Black Catholic Leaders in the Church. They sang a Swahili song, We are Marching and shared  the lives of Father Augustine Tolton and Sister Thea Bowman. As the boys spoke the girls had motions and then the girls spoke with the boys gesturing.

 

This was followed by Black Inventors given by the First Grade. Their recitation was What Would the World Be Like If There Were No Black People? We learned of all the inventions given us by Black people. They also sang a song, Eye on the Prize with a guest performer, BB King! This brought many laughs from the audience.

The Second Graders had prepared; Black History and St. Francis of Assisi Mission, Greenwood.  Sister Elena interviewed one of our parishioners, Mrs. Edith Spells.  Sister got information about her life growing up in the Delta at the time of the Civil Rights Movement  She shared the ways that  St. Francis of Assisi Mission had shaped and blessed her life. The information was turned into a script featuring visits from Father Nathaniel and two Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph who served here in the days of segregation.

The “Sisters and Father Nathaniel” led the second graders in singing; Sanctuary, a song dear to the members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish.

Black Athletes were presented by the Third Grade. They recalled for us the lives of  Lusia Harris Stewart, Jackie Robinson, and Jackie Joyner Kersee. The song which the class  sang beautifully  was I Believe I Can Fly.

Black History and Powerful People of the Mississippi Delta was the narrative the fourth graders presented in,  Who am I ? Several students each gave a description famous Delta figures including; Dr. Amanda Elzy, Fannie Lou Hammer, Mulgrew Miller, Judge Betty Sanders, Mr. L.H. Threadgill, Attorney Alix Sanders Sr., and Jerry Rice.  They then paused giving the audience a chance to answer. The audience involvement was enthusiastic and a spirit of pride in these local celebrities was evident.  The class then added a little rap to the song, Walk In Authority.

The Fifth and Sixth Graders focus was on Black Figures in Music and Entertainment. Phenomenal Women by Maya Angelou was the poetic narrative to which they added dance and gesture. They also sang the song, Glory, the theme song from the movie Selma.

the closing song was again sung by the entire student body, "Lift Every Voice". which is the National Anthem of Black Americans. the entire audience stood and sang with the students. It was a perfect ending to program.

The closing song was again sung by the entire student body, Lift Every Voice, which is the National Black Anthem . The entire audience stood and sang with the students. It was a perfect ending to program.

 

Mr. Travis Walls, an accomplished musician is new to all of us here at St. Francis

Mr. Travis Walls, an accomplished musician, new to all of us here at St. Francis was our Music Director.

Sister Mary Ann had been looking since last Spring for a musician to replace our retired music teacher. After several months, Mr. Walls,  who had heard of our search, came to us to inquire. He seemed to enjoy working with our students during this Black History Program. But who wouldn’t enjoy working with students who find such joy in music?

 

 

 

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