Middle School Spotlights Civil Rights Era

Middle School Spotlights Civil Rights Era photo

Students, teachers and administrators contributed their talents to celebrate Black History Month at Edmund W. Miles Middle School.

The annual production on Feb. 15 honored famous members of the Black community and highlighted important moments of the Civil Rights movement. The middle school drama club reenacted the Children’s Crusade, a 1963 movement in which children protested segregation by leaving their Birmingham, Alabama school and marching to a church. 

“We felt this was important to highlight because the event gained a lot of media coverage and was a pivotal event in the Civil Rights movement,” said social studies Chairwoman Leslie Ciliota. “It was also one of the first examples of child advocacy.”

The chorus performed a song widely associated with that era, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which has become known as the Black national anthem, while the jazz band played “Avenue Swing.” Principal Edward Plaia and his band, The Warriors, performed “Stand By Me” and “Three Little Birds.” Joining him were teachers Michael Bonasera, Luis Colón and Charles Martine, monitor Colin Seehoff and aide Chris Grant along with student Zackary Rodriguez on drums.

Student Jonathon Jacas broke out his Michael Jackson impression for “Smooth Criminal,” and the Step Dance team demonstrated a step battle between sororities at a Historically Black College and University. There were additional musical performances and poetry readings. The show was hosted by Gerald Asbell.