Eastside High School's Soulfest Brings Down the House
As Black History month comes to an end, Eastside High School brought down the house as they closed out the month of celebration. Hundreds of people, parents and students came out for the 12th annual "Soulfest" celebration.
And it was a day for voices to rise and to be heard; in song, performance and in dance --all a part of the rich culture of African-American history.
Student director of the Eastside High School gospel choir, Gregory Byrd, says "Gospel music is what's going to carry us through and what in the end is going to last."
As the month of celebration comes to an end, this final festivity was organized by the coordinator of Eastside High School's Black Collegiate Club, Shirley Feagin, or "Mama Feagin" as she's affectionately known.
Feagin, who is also a science teacher, home-cooked every finger-licking soulfood dish for this year's "Soulfest." This year's theme was "Reflections."
Reading teacher, Patricia Markoch, enacted on the makeshift stage a famous playwright as part of her contribution: "I was a famous playwright and saw my play on broadway," voiced, Markoch.
It was history come to life, as Markoch and her students took on the personas of famous African-American playwrights, politicians and freedom fighters in what they called "living biographies."
"Who am I?" asked Markock of the audience, "Lorraine Hansberry, that's tight," she answered.
"I wanted the learning to go from the page to the person so that would stay with them all these accomplishments. I wanted to take the reading to the next level," says Markoch.
For her students, it became more than an academic exercise, but a life lesson. Ariel Rollins found inspiration in her character Alice Walker.
Rollins says, "She was valedictorian of her class, that just inspired me so much because I feel like if she could do it I can do it."
The event was more than just an experience in history, it's about all of American history.
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