Celebrating Black History, Present & Futures at CG!

Written by Aurora Coon, CG’s Manager of Development & Communications. Photos and videos by Aurora, After School Media Club facilitator Amanda Byam, and Media Club students Camila, Alex, and Aurelio.

Common Ground seeks to celebrate Black history, present and futures every day – and in February especially – we honor Black heroes and movements. Read on to learn how Common Ground is uplifting and celebrating Black excellence this month!

“Lift every voice and sing, ’til earth and heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of Liberty,” sang 11th grade student Alanna (pictured above, top left).

James Weldon Johnson’s powerful lyrics (often known as The Black National Anthem) rang clearly and joyfully across our auditorium to kick off our third annual Black History Month Celebration. Then, the Hillhouse High School renowned marching band brought everyone to their feet with upbeat renditions of both classic and contemporary songs by Black musical artists. Our staff and students were dancing and singing throughout the entire set! Check out the JOY for yourself below!


Following the performances, CGHS 11th grader Tyana shared:

“I love it, I feel appreciated. We’ve all been through a lot. It makes me happy, I’m glad Common Ground did this.”

Culture Team staff Ericka Toney, Gammy Moses and Miriam Sheffield (pictured above) coordinated the celebration.

CGHS Culture Coordinator Miriam says:

“We want to continue the legacy of Black history, heroes and legends, from famous artists, dancers, singers to scientists to advocates.”

Another way we celebrated this month was through Chef T and Chef Antoine’s delicious annual Black History Month feast. The abundant meal honored the history of the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast Program. The foundation that the Black Panther Party built through this program starting in 1969 laid the groundwork for the national free school meals program, still in operation today.

Staff and students also participated in interactive educational workshops. Students experienced a performance by the Common Ground Musician’s Collective (pictured above, top left (L to R): Cupid, Syra, Joshua, August, Jayden, Brandyn, Mitchell, Christopher, Leon, Layla, Aubrey, Clouds, Taylor, and Mr. Green), African drumming, a collaborative art project, and more! Check out the incredible talent of our Musician’s Collective in the video below!


The celebrations will continue this week, with our beloved Black History Spirit Week, and beyond!

“We must not only recognize Black people and history during this month, but recognize, love and continue to fight for justice all year long, on an ongoing basis. These wounds can’t heal in 28 or 29 days, and the need for social justice doesn’t stop after a month. It’s imperative to continue the celebration at Common Ground.”

-Miriam Sheffield (CGHS Culture Coordinator)

Looking for upcoming events and announcements? You’ll find them in our next newsletter coming out the first week of March!


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