By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
SHANNON – Black history is still being made, speakers at Shannon High told the school’s roughly 680 students on Thursday.
Lee County Justice Court Judge Rickey Thompson and the Rev. Jeffery Daniel each spoke during the school’s Black History Month program and told those students about the role they could play.
“It is difficult to take what happened 30 or 40 or even 100 years ago and make it relevant to you in this present society,” said Daniel, the pastor at White Hill Missionary Baptist Church. “The task before me is to make you understand that history is still being made.”
Daniel spoke about growing up in a rough neighborhood in Memphis and told the students that he wasn’t going to let his surroundings determine his destination.
“My concern is whether or not we can say something today that would impact your life that you would chose to be successful and not a failure,” he said. “You are already not a failure because you chose to be at school today.”
Shannon High School junior Brittany Killpatrick, 16, who also came from Memphis, said Daniel’s message resonated.
“It inspired me to keep my grades up and go to college,” she said.
Thompson told students that black history “is 365 days a year.”
“We really need to help kids to understand the strides made by local people in the community,” he said after the event.
He told the students to consider the power of their dreams and warned them of the dangers of drugs and teenage pregnancy.
“I want them to understand that there is a possibility to do something in their lives,” he said.
Shannon junior Moneaka Metcalf, 17, said the messages were important for her and her classmates to hear.
She said their message of respect stood out to her.
“We need to respect our teachers and everyone in our surroundings,” she said.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.