‘Come together in harmony’ Isenberg Elementary celebrates black history with program

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, February 25, 2020

SALISBURY – Isenberg Elementary School’s annual Black History Month celebration is something to be proud of, Principal Marvin Moore said.

“I like to see when people come together in harmony, that’s what I like,” Moore said.

Moore said he does not mean just one race of people; he loves to see people come together and do what they know is right. A nearly two-hour program on Monday afternoon had dancing, singing, a band and history mixed into all the performances.

The program involved a heavy partnership with Livingstone College and featured fraternities and sororities, its marching band, gospel choir and cheerleaders.

Local dance studio Triple Threat came and students dressed as and recited information about important black figures in history, ranging from former First Lady Michelle Obama to abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

The event has been going on for years — at least as long as Moore has been at the school — though, he did not want to take responsibility for it because he didn’t know what kind of Black History Month programs came before him.

“Every year is really good,” Moore said, adding most people want to be part of something great and the school tries to celebrate different cultures and histories all year long.

If kids do not learn about black history from schools, he said, they often never do.

Moore grew up in the eastern part of the state and remembers Ku Klux Klan marches when he was a child. He also remembers his grandparents telling him to fight for the right thing.

“You’ve got to keep fighting and doing the right thing and saying the right thing,” Moore said. “You’ve got to fight about how you want to be. Not physically fight, but you’ve got to step up and celebrate your successes.”

The event ended with Livingstone’s Gospel Choir joining the students to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and the band playing as students filed out of the school’s auditorium. The choir had returned from New York and immediately came to the school to take part in the program. They rehearsed on the bus.

Gospel Choir Director Pastor Christopher Gray said he received phone calls from Moore and the president’s office at Livingstone about performing at the event. The choir has been coming to the event for the past few years.

“It’s been fantastic,” Gray said. “The students really enjoy it.”

The marching band had a less dramatic preparation process. 

“Luckily, we were not in New York,” said Livingstone Director of Band Anthony Jones.

This is the first time the full pep band has come out to perform, even though Jones has spoken at the school and brought out the drumline before.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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