Red Bank Regional High School celebrated Black History Month with music, dance, poetry, and inspirational prose. The program was a collaboration of the RBR administration, its Visual & Performing Arts Academy (VPA) and the Multicultural Club.
Keynote Speaker King Rice, the Monmouth University Head Basketball Coach, informed the students that Black History was part of American History. He encouraged the students to slow down their actions or reactions and take time to get to know one another, especially those different from themselves.
“If everyone tries to do this, you will help one another to grow,” said Rice.
Rice talked about the energy and power of youth that propelled a young man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to change the world with the help of other young people.
Dr. King's speech, "I Have a Dream,” was interpreted in dance by the RBR VPA dancers. Their second dance was set to the song Phenomenal Woman, with lyrics written by celebrated African American poet Maya Angelou. The final dance number was a montage of the Broadway hit musical, Hairspray which dealt with the explosive issue of integration in the 1960s.
RBR’s instrumental majors also performed Black American songs including Summertime, from Porgy and Bess, the African-American spiritual Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Ben King’s Stand-by Me and the jazz composition Blue Bossa.
Principal Risa Clay challeged her student body stating, “We recognize that RBR is a place of diversity, but as in all communities, we still have much work to do. Today I challenge you to be a part of the solution. We are in the process of forming a diversity committee, and we are seeking faculty and students to join with us. Stand up and be counted.”