Black history speakers emphasize stories

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The featured guests at Tupelo High School’s annual Black History Program told participants everyone has an important story.
“It took years for me to realize when we are talking about history, what we are really talking about is the word story,” Reggie Harris said. “History is a series of stories, and they are our stories.”
Kim and Reggie Harris, musicians and songwriters from upstate New York, told the stories of several individuals who had a large impact on the Civil Rights movement. Those included Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Banneker, Dr. Charles Drew and Ida B. Wells.
They also went into length about the impact Jackie Robinson had when he integrated baseball in 1947.
“As baseball changed, the world changed,” Reggie Harris said. “People realized that if a black man can play baseball, there might be an opportunity to change some other things as well.”
Their words resonated with Tupelo High School senior Ashton Huey.
“I think the part about how athletics was integrated was really touching,” he said.
Kim Harris told the students to be aware of the role they can play.
“Use what you have, use who you are always to work for freedom,” she said.
Thursday’s program also featured the THS Voices choir, which performed “Lift Every Voice,” “How Great is Our God,” “God Made Me” and “Total Grace.”
Freshman Bellynden Morris said he was moved by the message about the impact he and his classmates can have on history.
“It was fantastic,” he said of the program.
The Harrises will hold a public performance at the Link Centre Saturday night at 7.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com