Youngstown students celebrate Black History with music, dance and poetry

Black History Month

About a hundred students were involved in Thursday night's production at East High School

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – East High School celebrated Black History Month with performance art Thursday evening.

A choir began the tribute to black artists with “I Know Where I’ve Been” from Hairspray, which segued into “Glory” from the movie Selma.

The performers were students in the Visual and Performing Arts Program at East and Chaney high schools under the direction of Tracy Shuler Vivo.

“You’re going to see a lot of poignant pieces celebrating the different influential and important voices throughout history,” she said.

That includes Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald.

“You’re going to see some great and talented students performing,” junior Natalia McRae said.

Donovan Gillison read from Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” along with other readings.

The set background included quotes from Motown’s Marvin Gaye and the Bill Withers song lyric, “Lean on me when you’re not strong.”

The East High Jazz Band played three numbers, including Duke Ellington’s C Jam Blues as Dynasty Gordan sang a Sam Cook hit from 1964. Two students danced to the music.

“Oh, it was a wonderful performance,” said. “The students really performed very well.”

About a hundred students were involved in Thursday night’s production. There will be a different performance in association with Black History Month on February 20 at 5 p.m. at Chaney High School.

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