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Black History Celebration Friday at New Rochelle HS

Performances by young people and adults will showcase African American culture.

New Rochelle young people will be performing and enlightening the public Friday during the first Black History Month Celebration at the Linda E. Kelly Theater at New Rochelle High School.

Sponsored by the STRIVE Program of the New Rochelle Youth Bureau, and funded in part by the Westchester County Youth Bureau, the two-hour free program will include poetry, songs, dance and dramatic interpretation by adults and young people.

The program begins at 7 p.m.

Kelly Johnson, executive director of the New Rochelle Youth Bureau, said he was extremely happy with the diverse program that has been developed.

"I think it's important that the kids as well as the adults celebrate each other's culture and history as a whole," he said.

Paris Fisher, 13 and an eighth grader at Isaac E. Young Middle School, said she will be reading about Katherine Dunham, a choreographer whose dances are still performed today.

"Without her I wouldn't be dancing with my fellow peers," Fisher said.

Part of what she hopes to accomplish Friday is to let people know where the dances came from.

"They should know who created this dance," Fisher said.

Melissa Lord, 12, will also be dancing. 

The seventh-grade Albert Leonard Middle School student will be dancing with other an original dance created by her dance instructor.

Lord said she wanted others to learn about different cultures so that they can see how similar we all are.

"People should know that is doesn't matter where you come from," she said. "We are all the same and all humans."

Ryan Barnes, 12, is excited about the performance in which she will be dancing.

What seventh-grade Isaac Young Middle School student will be doing is showing how African-American dance evolved.

"Things wouldn't be the same without African-American people," Barnes said. "African Americans should get a lot of credit," she said.

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