The Appleton Area School District’s first ever Black History Program, presented by the Black Student Union (BSU), takes place Sunday, Feb. 10 from 3-6 p.m. at the Appleton West High School auditorium. It is the first program in the district’s more than 160-year history.
Kempton Freeman has been thinking about this event since he started working with the BSU four years ago.
He is a multicultural specialist team member in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office at the Appleton Area School District and key organizer of the event. Freeman said education is year round but we come together in these months to celebrate the cultures of each people.
“I’m honored to bring it out and fortunate I work with some great people and it was a process to get it done,” said Freeman. “I’m honored to be the first one and hope it will be the first of many.”
The keynote panel speakers are Dr. Silas Ashley and Dr. E. Timothy Moore, both alumni of and professors at Kent State University, where the Black United Students, along with Black educators, first proposed Black History Month and one year later where the first celebration of Black History Month took place in 1970.
Students from BSU will “show off some of their talents and show us who they are as people,” said Freeman. Acts will include students reading poems, singing, rapping and some steppers.
There will also be an award ceremony honoring students and community members, as well as a complementary soul food dinner catered by The Cozzy Corner.
“We want to make sure that [our youth] get represented well,” said Freeman. “That they understand their history. Be proud of being who you are.”
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.