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Musical and dance performances, recognition of college alumni, and a motivational speech were part of Chipley High School’s Black History Month celebration held Feb. 29.

The event took place in the CHS auditorium. 

Student Gerald Bryant gave one of the musical performances, while WAVE students recited poems. Members of regional fraternities and sororities were recognized on stage.

Chipley High School student Gerald Bryant sings for his classmates and educators during a Black History Month celebration on campus on Feb. 29. [COLLIN BREAUX | Washington County News]

Academic success trainer and Walden University doctoral student Robert Britton III was the keynote speaker and said community service and academic achievements can show young people the light.

“You have the ability to challenge the status quo. You ask yourself how do I inject myself into Black history?” Britton said. “Well, you do it every day in the halls of Chipley High School. You live Black history.”

Black History Month serves as a reminder of the struggles and triumphs of the ongoing journey towards equality and justice, Britton said.

Keynote speaker Robert Britton III encourages students to challenge themselves and build their intelligence during a Black History Month celebration at Chipley High School on Feb. 29. [COLLIN BREAUX | Washington County News]

“Black History Month is not just a page in a textbook,” Britton said. “It is on the woven tapestry interwoven into the fabric of our history in this country.”

Britton encouraged students to challenge themselves, get beyond their comfort zones, check in with themselves, and create a pathway for purpose.

“I want you to push yourself beyond the limits,” he said. “We can’t talk about Black history without talking about going through something to get to something.”

Black people had to get through segregation and disenfranchisement and came up with inventions in that time, he said. 

He also advised the assembled kids to cultivate their character, embrace growth, and celebrate success.

“You have to build your intelligence,” Britton said. “Knowledge is power when it’s applied and given away.”