PHOTOS: Scenes from 'a true celebration of life, love, and homage' at Coleman School

On Friday, Feb. 23, Journey Community Schools hosted its School Uplift Celebration in partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority at Coleman School in Memphis. The event was coordinated in conjunction with Coleman School's own Black History Month program for the fifth through eighth grades. There was a lot of celebration to be had, including Journey having recently received a $410,000 TVA EnergyRight School Uplift Building Energy Upgrade Grant, which will be used for LED lighting and HVAC upgrades.

Black Excellence was on full display that morning, says Reginald Johnson, whose photos and essay are included below.

What a wonderful time we all had at Coleman School.

The My Black Is Beautiful Program began and ended with an ensemble of Afrocentric singers, dancers, and musicians. A true celebration of life, love, and homage paid to some of our great African American ancestors of the past.   

The songs sung by the eighth grade choir brought chills to your bones. They sung with such compassion and conviction.

The dance teams moved with electric rhythms that captivated all in attendance.

A poem from the second grade students, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, was recited like poetry in motion.  

We were entertained by songs like “Stand Up,” “Glory,” “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Us Around,” “Girl On Fire,” and “I'm Black and I'm Proud.” The kindergarten students closed the program out with a grand march through the gym displaying a barrage of black African Americans who have left an indelible mark on our legacy of inventors as we celebrate Black History month. 

This was truly an epic concert of dance, singing, poetry, and Black Excellence. What a befitting celebration of life, love, and legacy on the cusp of Black History Month. My hat goes off to all of the many hours of hard work, excellence and determination that it took to bring this production to scale. We have some of the most talented and brightest scholars in the world nestled right here in our Black communities.

What an appropriate title: My Black Is Beautiful. 

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