Fresno Unified’s Black History Month program offers evening of cultural entertainment

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — February is Black History Month and Fresno Unified’s Black Student Union is hosting its ninth annual Black History Month program on Wednesday evenings.

The Black History Month program, Our History, Our Legacy, Our Strength, is held at Roosevelt High School’s Audra McDonald Theater.

It will be a fun evening of cultural entertainment and special performances by a talented group of local teenagers.

In collaboration with Purposed II Praise Dance Studio, the program will also include a tribute to African drums and black poets – a nod to the Harlem Renaissance era.

Organizer Lisa Mitchell is FUSD’s African American Academic Acceleration Executive Director.

“We always try to focus on history that people don’t know about, things that you don’t see in our history books,” Mitchell said.

Pupils from all over the district are involved. Mitchell says everyone needs to know something about black history, which is why there is a collaboration with other student organizations like Roosevelt Theater performers Abby Lopez and Nick Sterling, who will also be part of the program.

“It educates me, so I know a lot more stuff because just reading the script I didn’t realize half of the things in the script happened,” Lopez said

Sterling will be an extra and also helps out with props.

“I think it’s really important to just get everyone involved so that everyone has their story and has their turn to tell that story,” Sterling said.

The program is hosted by the district’s Black Student Union, which is predominantly made up of African American students.

Mitchell founded a BSU at Gaston Middle School when the school first opened its doors in 2014 to unite students and teach them about their culture.

“It’s really about a leadership club that equips our students to be leaders in our community, to give back to their community, but at the same time learn about their history and be proud of who they are as black individuals,” Mitchell said .

BSU student Kaleah McArtor said she is grateful for her village. “It’s important for people to know you have a community out there that supports you. With everything that’s going on in this world, it’s really hard and it’s really easy to feel alone, so I think, so just having a family, a community behind your back is so important,” she said.

Doors open at 5pm, and this year there will be a pre-show starting at 5:30pm. The official program starts at 6 p.m.

Tickets to the show are $1, and all proceeds benefit BSU clubs.

ABC30 is a proud sponsor of this event.

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