Residents at our Lenniger and Sydelle supportive housing sites celebrated Black History Month in style this year with their first annual event!
At the Sydelle, the common room was beautifully decorated for the party with posters and information about civil rights leaders and other famous figures. Volunteers from L.A.C.E., a nonprofit dedicated to mentoring and empowering young women, helped serve food to the families as they settled in to enjoy the entertainment. A live band led the celebrations, pausing between songs to highlight the importance of celebrating Black history throughout the year, and emphasizing that Black history is American history. Residents clapped and danced along as the band played hits by legends such as Aretha Franklin.
The highlight of the event came when residents took over the microphone to recite poems and readings. One of the residents, Nardia, recited Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” to snaps and cheers from the crowd. She was followed by her son Keevaun, who recited a portion of Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Another resident, Omar, read a piece about the life of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and Eddie read an original poem inspired by Black History Month. Everyone watching cheered to show their support for each performer, and the mood was jubilant as residents ate, sang, and chatted.
At the Lenniger, residents also participated in a jewelry-making activity. Several paintings done by tenants in the site’s art classes were on display during the event, highlighting the residents’ creativity.
These were definitely events to remember, and will hopefully be the beginning of many more years to come of celebration!