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VIDEO: South Orange Middle School Embraces Future Changemakers with ‘My Black Is Beautiful’ Event

South Orange

Community’s Celebration of the beauty of black culture and black history scheduled at SOPAC -SOMS

By: Richard L. Smith 

This Black History Month, South Orange Middle School (SOMS) is setting a new precedent by focusing not just on the past but on the future with its upcoming event “My Black Is Beautiful – A Celebration of Black History Through the Arts.”

Real estate Scheduled for Saturday, February 24th at 4 p.m., this gathering is a vibrant testament to the young people who are poised to make Black History in the years to come.

Principal Lynn Irby Hill, a product and long-time advocate of the school and district, echoes the event's core message: recognizing and celebrating the inherent beauty of black and brown children.

Her mission is clear and personal – to ensure that these young minds not only recognize their beauty but feel and see it reflected in their community. 

Irby Hill's deep roots in the community, from her childhood in South Orange to her tenure in Newark Public Schools, have culminated in her return to SOMS, where she fosters an environment of empowerment and self-expression.

This event at the South Orange Performing Arts Center is a platform for SOMS students to shine, showcasing their talents in music, poetry, spoken word, and dance – a medium dear to Irby Hill's heart.

The event will feature a range of performances, including the SOMS Principal’s Dance Troup, led by Irby Hill herself, and “The Young Kings,” a group from the school’s Empowerment Group.

They will present a choreographed rendition of Daniel Beaty’s poem, “Dear Future Ancestor,” symbolizing the bridging of past and future generations.

Adding to the evening's excitement, The Tia Holt Experience, led by Tia Holt – a talented singer and the Guidance Department's secretary at SOMS – will deliver a special performance.

Holt, a former student of Irby Hill, is known for her stirring performances, like her recent one at the Maplewoodstock festival.

“My Black Is Beautiful” is not just an event; it's a celebration of the potential, talent, and beauty of future leaders and creators.

With tickets available for $15 on SOPAC’s website, the event is set to begin at 4 p.m. and promises to be an intimate and impactful experience, underlining the school's dedication to fostering a sense of pride and belonging in its students.

Through this initiative, SOMS and Principal Irby Hill are not only acknowledging Black History Month but are also nurturing a new generation of influencers and creators who will continue to shape and enrich our society.

The message is clear: these children are not just the future of the black community but are integral to the fabric of the wider community. “My Black Is Beautiful” is a step towards a future where every child knows their value and potential.

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