Gaston Middle School celebrates Black History Month with annual program

Gaston Middle School is kicking off the month of February with its 5th annual Black History Month program.

The idea behind the program is to give students the opportunity to learn about African Americans outside of the classroom.

"For students to proud of their culture, to be educated about their culture because it is not mentioned must in history books. There are so many leaders they can be proud of, so much history they can learn," said Lisa Nichols, Vice Principal.

Nichols says her students put in many hours before, during and after school to put on the program.

The school even teams up with members of the community. This is the second year Gaston has teamed up with Stacy Jones Dance Academy to coordinate several of the performances.

"She also works with me to make sure that things are in place. It has to be a community effort because I cannot do this work by myself. It certainly takes a village, so our teachers are involved, several clubs and there about two hundred students involved in this production," she said.

Nichols pointed out each year different historical events are featured.

The Civil Rights Movement Era and The Underground Railroad were center stages this time around.

There was also a tribute to the queen of soul Aretha Franklin, who passed away last year.

A performance of the Lion King was featured for its impact on the black community.

"It is the longest running show on Broadway that has a majority of a black cast. And I think being based in Africa it was just a really great opportunity to brag about it almost," said Isabella Garcia, Gaston Middle School Student.

Many of the students involved are performing for a second time around.

They want the show to grow in the years to come.

"Last year I was in it. So I just decided to come back and I wanted to be more involved with Black Student Union and just to keep going," said William Fowler, Gaston Middle School Student.
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