African-American Heritage Month

Written by Vanessa Wilson
Sparks Advisor

As you know, February is National Black History Month.  At Pine Forge Academy the students have had the chance to hear many great speakers addressing “our” history as a race.  February 3rd, we kicked off our abbreviated heritage celebration with three keynote speakers giving insight on topics such as racism, history, and the media.

Pastor Frank Legette was the first speaker.  He opened with the story of Lucy Byrd, an African American turned away from Washington Adventist Hospital who died during her delay in treatment.  Pastor Legette alluded to the fact that racism was strapping in the world when he was growing up and is still prevalent today.

Mr. Charles Battles spoke on Monday, February 13, 2017.  He gave the students a virtual tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.  He went through the details of the building and each of the exhibits and the meticulous work and planning that went into bringing the museum together.  He spoke about how Black History Month has relevance and that it still matters.

Dr. George Thornton was the final speaker on Monday, February 27, 2017.  He gave an analysis of the movies “Fences” and “Hidden Figures”.   The morning opening session confronted the metaphors strewn throughout Fences and the family dynamics shown.   He then spoke about the fences that we build up for various reasons.  The analogy in the story of Job was used to explain what happens when you lose sight of your spiritual fence and the importance of staying in constant relation with the source, God Almighty.

During the school day he spoke to all students in their history class.  He covered a myriad of topics: from Black Lives Matter to living in Trump’s America, from the myth of reverse racism, to comparing and contrasting the civil rights movement with civil movements of today.  During the lunch break, Dr. Thornton engaged in a Chat ‘N Chew with the “Ineffable Class of 2017” equipping the 50 strong students with 7 tips to become effective leaders.

The closing session elucidated the movie “Hidden Figures” and the hidden potential in all of us.  He also showed that when you do something right people will try to hide you from the spotlight, but you must rise past them and shine for God’s glory.

The day culminated with a dedicatory prayer for the students, faculty and staff of Pine Forge Academy which led into the singing of the old familiar Negro spiritual We Shall Overcome as sung when Dr. Martin Luther King fought with intentionality to combat racial injustices for humanity.


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