Students celebrate Black History Month

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February is Black History Month, so chosen because it coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and Frederick Douglas, who escaped slavery to become an author and politician who fought for equality for all people regardless of race, gender or nationality.

Since 1998, Charles Tillman, who manages WCHJ 1470 AM, a local Christian radio station, and Melanie Lewis, Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln County, have been observing Black History Month by giving children with the club the opportunity to read essays about prominent African American figures and answer questions over the radio.

They do this for the first two weeks out of the month. Tuesday, Mya Edwards, 8, and Jada Waterman, 13, read about Mae Jemison and Ben Carson.

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“I learned she was the first African American woman to fly into space on the rocket ship called the Endeavor,” Edwards said.

“I learned that he was first African American neurosurgeon to do something that great: separating conjoined twins,” Waterman said.

Edwards was enthusiastic about getting to go and speak on the radio.

“It was kinda fun,” Edwards said. “… Last year I didn’t get to do it because I didn’t really come too much. So I just wanted to do it and see how it felt because I’ve never been on a radio station before. So I just wanted to learn something new about Black History Month.”

WCHJ will continue to host children from the Boys and Girls Club until Friday. The segment starts at 4:30 p.m.