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ECMS students celebrate Black History Month

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Escambia County Middle School students, faculty, administration and family members celebrated Black History Month Friday morning with poems, singing and Holman Prison warden Grantt Culliver as the guest speaker.
The program was entitled “Never Give Up” and ECMS students spoke of African-American leaders who played a big role in the history of America including Carter G. Woodson, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Viola Liuzzo, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth and several more.
Culliver spoke about the importance of Black History Month.
Culliver said one thing black history teaches Americans is to strive for excellence, no matter what color you are; black, white, Hispanic or Asian.
During the program, many students read inspirational poems including “An African Princess,” “What Shall I Tell My Children” and “Mother To Son.”
Several ECMS female students performed “What If I Am A Black Woman” for the crowd, who clapped and laughed at the power in the words.
What If I Am A Black Woman?
Is it a disease? Well, if it is, I sure hope it’s catching because they need to pour it into a bottle, label it and sprinkle it all over the people men and women who ever loved or cried, worked or died for any one of us.
So…What if I am a black woman?
Is it a crime? Arrest me! Because I'm strong, but I'm gentle, I'm smart, but I'm learning, I'm loving, but I'm hateful. And I like to work because I like to eat and feed and clothe and house me, mine and yours and everybody's, like I've been doing for the past 300 years.
What if I am a black woman?
Is it insane? Commit me!! Because I want happiness, not tears; truths not lies; pleasure not pain; sunshine not rain; a man not a child!
What if I am a black woman? Is it a sin?
Pray for me! And pray for you too, if you don't like women of color because we are… midnight black, chestnut brown, honey bronzed, chocolate covered, cocoa dipped, big lipped, big breasted and beautiful all at the same time!
So what if I am a black woman?
Does it bother you that much because I want a man who wants me…loves me and trusts me and respects me and gives me everything because I give him everything back, plus!!
What if I am a black woman?
I've got rights, same as you! I have worked for them, died for them, played and laid for them, on every plantation from Alabama to Boston and back!
What if I am a black woman?
I love me, and I want you to love me too, but I am as I've always been, near you, close to you, beside you, strong giving, loving, for over 300 years, your black woman…love me!
Besides the many poems which wowed the crowd, the Golden Eagle Choir sang “Never Give Up” and “Never Would Have Made It Without You” and the Escambia County Middle Preparatory Dance Team opened the program with a dance to “African Queen.”
Principal Zickeyous Byrd was appreciative to all those in attendance.