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The Choral Response

featuring the Wilberforce University Choir

City of Columbus 2006 Black History Month Celebration February 4, 2006

Michael B. Coleman, Mayor Chester C. Christie, Director, Department of Human Resources Dr. Melvin V. Richardson, Black History Month Coordinator


Welcome to the 2006 City of Columbus Annual Black History Month Celebration

AFRICAN AMERICAN IMAGES OF DIGNITY: The Choral Response

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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

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PROGRAMME AFRICAN AMERICAN IMAGES OF DIGNITY: The Choral Response featuring The Wilberforce University Choir under the direction of Jeremy Scott Winston, occupant of the Ray Charles Distinguished Chair of Sacred and Choral Music

MUSICAL PRELUDE Opening, Welcome and Acknowledgements ……………………………………..……Dr. Melvin V. Richardson, Black History Month Program Coordinator and Director Chester C. Christie, Department of Human Resources Presentation of Colors …………………………………...……….City of Columbus Fire Division Honor Guard Pledge of Allegiance and singing of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” (see back of program, first verse only) led by Deputy Director Jacquilla Bass, Department of Human Resources

Introduction of the Wilberforce University Choir ……………………...………………………...Dr. Richardson ( See back cover for biographical sketch of Director Winston and names of choir members)

Theme-related Vocal Selections …………………………………………………....Wilberforce University Choir Introduction of Mayor …………………….………………………………………………...…..Director Christie Remarks.............................................................. The Honorable Michael B. Coleman, Mayor, City of Columbus Choral Response ………………………………………………………………..… Wilberforce University Choir INTERMISSION Tribute to Rosa Parks ……………………………………………………………Deputy Director, Jacquilla Bass Theme-related Vocal Selections …………………………………………………....Wilberforce University Choir


A Tribute to the Life of

Today, February 4, 2006, Rosa Louise Parks would have been 93 years old.

Happy Birthday Rosa!


HER LIFE STORY to the old saying, “some people are born unto greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” GreatA ccording ness was certainly thrust upon Rosa Parks, but the modest former seamstress found herself equal to the challenge.

Known today as “the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Parks almost single-handedly set in motion a veritable revolution in the southern United States, a revolution that would eventually secure equal treatment under the law for all Black Americans. “For those who lived through the unsettling 1950s and 1960s, and joined the civil rights struggle, the soft-spoken Rosa Parks was more, much more than the woman who refused to give up her bus seat to a White man in Montgomery, Alabama,” wrote Richard L. Haywood in Jet Magazine. “Hers was an act that forever changed White America’s view of Black people, and forever changed America itself.” Mrs. Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley on February, 4 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. When she was still a young child, her parents separated and she moved with her mother Leona McCauley to Montgomery, Alabama. Life at its best was cruel and dehumanizing in Montgomery. She faced daily rounds of laws governing her behavior in public places. Rosa survived in spite of these adversities, encouraged by the foresight of her caring mother who taught her not to judge people by what they had, but by the respect they had for themselves and others. As Lerone Bennett, Jr., wrote in Ebony Magazine, Rosa was consumed not by the prospect of making history, but rather “by the tedium of survival in the Jim Crow South.” The tedium became unbearable, and Rosa Parks acted to change it. In 1931, she met Raymond Parks, an early advocate of the Civil Rights of Black Americans. They were married in 1932. Together, Raymond and Rosa worked in the NAACP programs where he was an active member and where she served as secretary and later as youth leader of the local branch. At the time of her arrest, she was preparing for a major youth conference. From a modern perspective, Parks’ actions on December 1, 1955, hardly seem extraordinary: tired of being mistreated, she refused to give up her seat in order to accommodate a white passenger on a city bus in Montgomery. At the time, however, her defiant gesture actually broke a law, one of many bits of Jim Crow legislation that assured second-class citizenship for blacks. Overnight Rosa Parks became a symbol for hundreds of thousands of frustrated black Americans who suffered outrageous indignities in a racist society. After her arrest, black people of Montgomery and sympathizers of other races, organized and promoted a boycott of the city bus lines that lasted 381 days. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was appointed the spokesperson for the bus boycott. Contingent with the protest in Montgomery, others took shape throughout the United States in sit-ins and similar causes. Thousands of courageous people joined the “protest” to demand equal rights for all people. Following her refusal to surrender her seat to a white man, Rosa and Raymond Parks came under persistent threats of violence which prompted their move to Detroit, Michigan. Here she faced irregular employment until 1965, when she assisted Representative John Conyers in his first campaign for Congress. After his election, she was hired as a congressional staff member. She remained a dedicated, efficient and compassionate member of his staff for the next two decades.

Winners of the Essay Contest In Honor of the Life of Rosa Parks 1st Place:

Rebecca Ojerinde, Clinton Middle School Teacher: Dori Kakizoe (After school reading tutor)

2nd Place:

Dylan M. Brown II, Southmoor Middle School Teacher: Matthew Berkal

3rd Place:

Brandon Upchurch, Ridgeview Middle School Teacher: Alicia M. Rosko


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF DIRECTOR JEREMY SCOTT WINSTON Choir Director, Jeremy Scott Winston, occupies the Ray Charles Distinguished Chair of Sacred and Choral Music at Wilberforce University. He is currently preparing the group to emerge as one of the nation’s top vocal ensembles. A Philadelphia native, Winston was born into a musical family. He began singing at his local church and was a Suzuki violin student at the age of six. His musical abilities flourished at the Pine Forge Academy in Pennsylvania where he was a tenor soloist and assistant conductor of the nationally acclaimed Pine Forge Academy Choir from 1995- 1997. Winston received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from Oakwood College and his Masters of Arts Degree from Morgan State University. MEMBERS OF THE WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY CHOIR FOR THIS PERFORMANCE ARE: ARMSTRONG, Calvin

GOODWIN, Raymond

MCDANIEL, Danielle

SIMON, Aja

BEECHUM, James

GORDON, Stephanie

MILLER, Marcel

SMITH, Travis

BENYARD, Brianna

GRANT, Robert

MORRISON, Kimberly

STROTHER, Sasha

CALDWELL, LaToya

HATCHETT, Blake

NZE, John

TURNER, Shalonda

DAUGHTERY, Greg

HOWARD, Devin

PARKER, James

TWINE, Rajaad (Matt)

DAWSON, Dontraion

HUDSON, Daniel

POWELL, Candace

TYSON, Annjeanette

DOWDEN, Ashley

JOHNSON, Steven

RICHBERG, Jason

WALKER, Jazmine

DRUMGOOLE, Aseia

JONES, Cyrus

RILEY, Imani

WILLIAMS, Ciara

FORKNER, Joshua

JONES, Jarod

ROBINSON, Angel

WRAY, Lance

FORTUNA, Britney

LEE, Alicia

ROBINSON, Monique

WRIGHT-PATE, Valaree

GAY, Jordan

LEE, Autumn

RUCKER, Ashley

YOUNG, Morris

GILLIAM, Natalie

MCCULLOCH, David

RUCKER, Tatum

YOUNG, Rachel

Lift Every Voice and Sing By James Weldon Johnson Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring, Ring with the harmonies of liberty; Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies, Let it resound loud as the rolling sea. Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us; Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, Let us march on till victory is won.

Images of Dignity  

The official program booklet for the City of Columbus Black History Month Program 2006. Designed by Conscience Media Productions.

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