The Pioneer

The Pioneer

WOHS Black History Month Dinner

Cynthia Cumming

Mian Franco, Arts and Politics Editor

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WEST ORANGE, Nj — Friday night, Feb. 9, 2018. It’s 6 o’clock, kind of chilly outside, but there is instant warmth projected from the bright and lively atmosphere of the Tarnoff cafeteria at West Orange High School (WOHS), the location of the Black History Month Dinner. It was a night of elegance presented in eloquent, meticulous prose from the speaker and by some of the best, if not the best, performers WOHS has to offer. Cynthia Cumming

Principal, Mr. Moore started the night saying,“I’m proud to celebrate Black history in the multicultural environment that is West Orange High. It is extremely impressive to see our diverse student body band together to observe such an influential celebration.”

He also hopes that the guest speaker, Mr. Kian Brown, will come back and make future appearances. Speaking of the guest speaker, Mr. Brown preached volumes of being proud of your Black heritage, if you possess it that is, making sure to keep the 101 Historically Black Colleges/Universities, also known as HBCUs, in mind when you apply to college. Whether you’re Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, or if you identify as Other, at least consider it. He also made a point of always remembering that you matter as a person, and your life has infinite worth.

But race, and history, were not the only messages Mr. Brown had to offer, he also brought light to an issue often deemed trivial within communities of color: mental health. Though, he did not go into detail on the functioning of certain illnesses, he did disclose his own methods of bringing himself back up when he’s down. Choosing happy.

He sees happiness as a choice, and elaborated on the true meaning of the word, “Happy don’t mean (sic) big smiles, and skipping down the hallways, that’s not really happy. Happy is being content with yourself. Where you are. Being okay with where you are. Not in comparison to your classmate, or your friends, or your family members, but being okay where you are, right now, on the planet.”

Cynthia Cumming
Mr. Brown also spoke of the importance of listening to teenage voices, and what the youth has to offer. Though it may not have been in the same context, teenage voices were lifted and listened to that night. Jubilee means a special anniversary of an event, and never has the Jubilee choir ever been so accurately named. A particularly moving piece they performed was titled “Right On” featuring solos from seniors, Ruth Mesfin and Vincent Means, and freshman, Jordan Scott-Young.

Overall, the night proved to be spectacular, and was indeed a sight to see.

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