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Celebrating Black History

ECMS holds annual program Feb. 23

“I want you to learn to capture your thoughs. When you capture your thoughts you can control a lot of things in your life.”

That’s what Conecuh County Schools Superintendent Tonya Dukes-Bozeman said to a captivated and socially-distanced group of students, admininstrators and guests during Escambia County Middle School’s Black History Celebration on Feb. 23.

Dukes-Bozeman said when you capture negative thoughts, one can replace them with positive ones.

“We have a way to overcome our unholy thoughts and behaviors and gain the self control that we need,” she said. “It’s a matter of taking care of your thoughts.”

Dukes-Bozeman spoke about the opportunities the students have ahead of them, noting Michelle Obama, the first black woman as first lady of the United States, and Vice President Kamala Harris are good examples of who they can aspire to become.

“I called out those names, but remembering them isn’t enough,” she said. “You must become those poeple before becoming yourself.”

Dukes-Bozeman encouraged the students to work hard for their opportunities.

“You’ll make it if you burn the midnight oil,” she said. “I have no doubt that every single one of you if you have a goal, you’ll make it. I burned not only the midnight oil, but the midday oil. Young poeple you can’t drop out and quit.

“Regardless of how you get there, don’t drop out and don’t drop away from your dream,” she said.

The Black History program also featured students speaking about African American inventors, readings of poetry by African American poets, the ECMS choir singing a selection, a monologue of “Wake Up GlorieJean” by Mary Calhoun and the announcement of the Concerned Citizens of Atmore’s Black History Essay winners.