Black History Month

Student leads Black History Month celebration
Posted on 02/09/2021
Bralin Duckett

A Poplar Bluff High School sophomore has taken the initiative to produce a series of short videos celebrating Black History Month that are being shown during advisory class throughout February.

Bralin Duckett worked through his leadership elective teacher, Jennie Randolph, to arrange a meeting with Principal Mike Owen earlier this school year to present his vision. Included in the content are interviews with special guests, schoolmates and a teacher, plus some musical performances and information.

“When I think of how to get stuff done, she is the person to talk to,” Bralin said of his teacher, who also serves as his Student Council adviser. Randolph explained that she is fortunate to have such a group of “highly motivated students,” and her job is simply to point them in the right direction.

“They’re the reason we’re here,” explained Owen of his reputation of green lighting well-thought-out ideas from the student body. “They should be a part of the decisions; it’s their school.”

During the second installment set to air on Wednesday, Feb. 10, nationally recognized youth motivational speaker, Lamarr Womble, discusses the quality of showing empathy, which he defines as understanding that others may experience life differently.

Ella Skillman, Bralin’s classmate, was able to help establish a connection with the public speaker via Instagram. The StuCo members previously heard Womble speak at a Missouri Association of Student Councils convention.

Bralin played a singing role during a Black History Month assembly at Junior High in the past, and wanted to host something on a larger scale at the High School, but made adjustments to shoot videos due to Covid-19 precautions restricting gatherings.

In researching what had been done at the secondary level beyond the classroom, he learned that a student committee responsible for leading a school-wide effort had since graduated, so he felt compelled to fill the role. He said his goal as a High School student is to establish an annual tradition for his successors to continue.

“It’s for everyone, not just for black people; it’s about inclusion,” Bralin said. “If you hear more about the culture, not just the main people, maybe you can take part and have fun learning new things.”

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Cutline: Student Bralin Duckett, shown in a screenshot, taught himself how to edit videos for a series aired during advisory at PBHS.

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