Speaker, performance highlight TES program

Published 8:29 pm Friday, February 21, 2014

Speaker Willie Bradley invited students onstage as part of his program at TES on Friday.

Speaker Willie Bradley invited students onstage as part of his program at TES on Friday.

Students were up and out of their seats during Friday’s Black History Program at Troy Elementary School, anxious for the opportunity to join classmates on stage.
The excitement was part of the lesson. Guest speaker Willie Bradley gave away cash to those lucky students on stage.
There may not be someone passing out dollars every day, but Bradley told students life had its own rewards for being good citizens.
“You’re going to get something from life when you accept people for who they are,” he said.
Those who chose someone different from them – a different race or gender – were given a few extra dollars. Those who willingly shared their prize with someone invited onstage were also rewarded.
“Now why do we come together around money so easily but we can’t come together for equality when all that means is to be a good citizen,” asked Bradley near the end of his presentation.
He shared a lesson on the 1964 Civil Rights Acts, including dates and facts. At the end of his presentation, he quizzed students to see what they had retained. The program also included a performance from fifth-grade students. They highlighted milestones in civil rights, including the bus boycott and the sit-ins at Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C.
They ended the presentation by asking the audience, “Are we there yet?” and segwaying into a video presentation that contrasted desegregated schools of today to the inequity found before civil rights.
Students involved in the production said they learned a lot in the two weeks it took to prepare for the program.
“I learned that African-Americans weren’t treated fairly and they didn’t have the right to do anything,” said Letravous Griffin, who played Thurgood Marshall in the production.
Gracie Sneed said she learned “how white people used to treat black people so harshly.”