Bradenton students celebrate Black History Month

eearl@bradenton.comMarch 1, 2013 

BRADENTON -- What do Abraham Lincoln and Beyonce Knowles have in common? Both shared the stage at Jessie P. Miller Elementary Thursday as students celebrated Black History Month with a special production.

Students at Miller ended the month with a program in the cafeteria that featured song, dance and the spoken word.

Third- and fifth-grade students impersonated Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ruby Bridges, Barack and Michelle Obama, Michael Jackson, Whitney

Houston and Beyonce.

Students had an opportunity to entertain while educating, giving their peers a brief history of Black History Month and discussing the elementary schools in Manatee County that were dedicated to black educators, such as Tillman, Abel, Johnson, Haile, and G.D. Rogers.

Professional boxer and two-time heavyweight champion Howard Smith surprised students at the production as well to spread a short, positive message.

"You are 25 percent of the population and 100 percent of the future," Smith said. "Be respectful to each other."

Principal Barry Dunn said that students had been reading about Black History Month in class and dedicated their morning news show to important African-Americans throughout history.

"It is important for us to remember what African-Americans have been through," said fifth-grader Mariette Tomlinson.

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