Salute to black heroes past and present

BY ALLEN A. BUCHANAN, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — The Thomas “Jet” Jackson Recreation Center, located at 1000 28th St. S., celebrated the contributions of African-American heroes from all walks of life last Fri., Feb 27.  Such iconic legends such as Malcolm X, Bessie Coleman, Stevie Wonder and Michelle Obama came to life through lively performances by the kids under the guidance of the youth development staff.

Over 35 children participated in the program that recognized 32 African-American heroes in politics, civil rights, sports, entertainment, the judicial system, aviation and business.

Mistress of Ceremony, Coach Alison Srinivasa, opened the program and was followed with the welcome by Narasipar Srinivasa. The entertainment portion of the evening started when Ny’Jai Bruce performed a dance solo. Jarvis Harris, Se’Maj Davis, Tay’ John Rivers, Ja’Quis Greene and Zymir Harris followed with a skit that would introduce the main performance of the evening.

This black history program had flashbacks of the former Black History Pageants put on by the late Peggy Peterman for close to two decades. The lively performances by the young people could continue the legacy of black history programs put on by our local youth from years past.

Many youth who grew up performing in the Black History Pageant and the Chocolate Nutcracker have gone on to establish professional careers locally and nationally.

Although the black history showcase at the Thomas “Jet” Jackson Rec Center is only two years old, it has a lot to look forward to as a new generation of talented African- American youth comes forth into the spotlight.

Towards the end of the program, the children put on a display of energy comparable to a fraternity/ sorority step competition as they sang and danced in sync to a popular, “clean” rap song.

The evening concluded with dinner and dessert as Rob Perry, manager of Wells Fargo Bank, gave the closing remarks.

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