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The Voice of the Black Community


Wake County schools wants your black history stories
Legacy weekend at Hillside High
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2019
by Staff Reports

The Wake County Board of Education is asking students, teachers and citizens to work together to bring new life to a crucial piece of our history that has been dormant for decades.

The “Respecting Our History, Building Our Future” initiative, announced during an observation of Black History Month at the Board’s Feb. 5 meeting, seeks to tell a more complete story about historically segregated schools in Wake County.

The landmark achievement of integration - including the bravery of the first African-American students who attended previously white-only schools - has been shared often over the past several decades through books, films, documentaries and news sources. But the Board wants to shed light on the rich and compelling stories of excellence and commitment to education in historically black schools, many of which were closed after desegregation.

“To build our most productive future, it behooves us to respect and understand our history,” said Board chair Jim Martin and vice chair Keith Sutton in a joint statement.

That’s where today’s students, teachers and the broader community come in. The Board is asking schools to form teams of students and teachers who will research historically segregated schools that operated in their respective vicinities. This research will include interviews with educators and alumni who taught and learned in these schools.

The project will require close collaboration among students, teachers and community members. How they will document their findings will be up to them. It could include websites, social media, film, written or audio documentation, and photos.

The  announcement followed a presentation by Washington Magnet Elementary students and teachers. Students at Washington produced a historical account of their own school last year, titled “Voices of Washington,” which incorporated interviews and additional primary-source information to create a podcast and website.

If you would like to be part of this historic effort, contact Lisa Luten, lluten@wcpss.net, or Michael Yarbrough, myarbrough2@wcpss.net.


Hillside Legacy Weekend will be a powerful weekend of “Remembering the Past and Celebrating the Present and Future Generations of Hillside Excellence.”  On Feb. 15, the Hillside Drama Department will kick off the weekend by honoring Andrè Leon Talley and other guest celebrities at the opening of “Hallelujah! Swing School” in honor of Mr. G’s (John Gattis) “Swing School.”  The show will be followed by a Legacy Luncheon on Feb. 16, sponsored by the SS Renaissance Team, a dynamic group of Hillside alumni supporting the performing arts programs. On Sunday, with the return of Talley, a screening of the acclaimed documentary “The Gospel According to Andrè,” directed by Kate Novack. A Q&A will follow.  

All of the weekend events will take place at the school at 3727 Fayetteville Road. For tickets and more information, call (919) 560-3925, ext. 25221, or order tickets online at www.seatyourself.biz/hillside or andreleontalley.eventbrite.com.



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