Students, staff and parents at Riverdale Baptist School in Upper Marlboro will be celebrating Black History Month with a day-long festival based around a song from the musical “Hairspray.”
The annual event centers around a new theme every year, and this year the theme is “I Know Where I’ve Been,” which is the title of a song Queen Latifah sings in the film version of “Hairspray,” said Stephanie Iszard, coordinator of the event.
“What we’re doing is taking a look back at the civil rights movement but encouraging kids about the positive ways it affects us today,” Iszard said. “It’s mainly to appreciate the history.”
The celebration will begin with a formal candlelight service in the morning that will symbolize passing the torch from one generation to the next, Iszard said. Dance groups, choirs and Christian artists will perform later in the day, she said.
U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-Dist 4) of Fort Washington will be one of the guest speakers, Iszard said. The festival will culminate with the middle school leading a rendition of the Soul Train line in the school gymnasium, she said.
“I’m hoping that the kids will embrace and appreciate the struggle that their grandfathers and fathers have gone through on their behalf,” Iszard said. “It’s like a big old celebration and family reunion.”