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HCS Celebrates National Black History Month

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26-Feb-14 (SPHS) - Motivational speaker Cedric Sparks delivered an enthusiastic keynote address at Spain Park High School’s Black History Program February 26th, capping off an-hour long ceremony that included music, presentations and more.

Sparks, executive director of Birmingham’s Division of Youth Services, spoke to the students on the importance of contributions made to American society by African-Americans over the course of history.  He also encouraged students to explore community service opportunities and ways to plug in to their communities.

Sparks joined legendary jazz musician Ona Watson on the program.  Watson, a Birmingham native and owner of Ona's Music Room at Birmingham's Pepper Place Market, performed musical numbers alongside local musicians and Spain Park High School's Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble.  Faculty/staff members Casey Cain and Shannon Craig helped school administrators conceptualize and execute the event, relying heavily from the school's Girls' Minority Achievement Council. 

“I thought [the program] was very successful. Out of my four years, I think this one has been the best," student and GMAC member Emmy Njaaja said. "Mr. Sparks is very enthusiastic and definitely can spark up a crowd. He is not boring at all; very intriguing and spoke truth to us."

GMAC performs numerous campus tasks ranging from large-scale school events to homework assistance.  It's a chance for minorities from all walks of life to connect, serve and thrive.  GMAC member Shannon Craig agrees with her counterparts; the hard work and effort paid off in the form of a successful program.

“I loved it; I thought it was really nice. I loved the incorporation of African-type music and jazz and how that’s a part of American history. I also liked Mr. Sparks and how he put emphasis on the fact black history should be celebrated not just this month but all year round.”


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