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Black history celebration goes virtual

Black History
Albert Brown

The annual Wesson Attendance Center (WAC) Black History Month celebration -- a spectacular show featuring song, dance, inspiration readings and speeches along with a traditional students post display focused on African America heroes and leaders surrounding the audience on the walls of WAC's old gymnasium -- has gone virtual in deference to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albert Brown, a WAC English and drama and theater teacher, and his students have created a video production that, while losing some of the impact of live in-person audience interaction, extends the reach of the celebration to audiences that may have missed it in the past and continues to provide enjoyment and inspiration over time.

Mississippi winter storms delayed production of the video when they closed down WAC for a week in late February, but gave students the opportunity to create it and others to observe its making at the time of the usual celebratory show.

"The CD production includes video clips of student speakers, musical selections, a step-team dance performance, and, of course, the hard work of my students as the centerpiece of the production," Brown reports

"The Traveler and the Path" thematically frames this year's virtual celebration.

Instead of creating posters documenting their research into African Americans, Brown's students this year produced a project board based on their gained research and submitted a video to share it with the connections they made to their topics.

"Our students looked down the line and identified the pathways they would like to pursue regarding careers and life choices," Brown explained. "With their pathways identified, they were challenged to research contributing African American who helped pave the way for others with similar career interests. They make connections to their intended work and the inspiring African Americans that helped strengthen the fields before them."

View the WAC virtual Black History Month celebration at

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