Kempsville Fills February with Events for Black History Month

Jakelynn Credle and Sydney Haulenbeek

Kempsville High School has filled the whole month of February with activities to bring more recognition to Black History Month. 


Kempsville plans to play movies in the auditorium almost every day that represent the accomplishments of African Americans. Some movies selected include “The Color Purple,” “Lean On Me,” “Coach Carter,” and many more. 


Sydney Haulenbeek
February’s schedule for Black History Month events.

“We [African Americans] created the month to highlight the importance of Black History,” said Mrs. Kim Nurse, a special education teacher who is helping to orchestrate events.


On February 7, Zeiders American Dream Theater is visiting to perform “Cross That River,” a musical about a runaway slave who becomes one of the first African American cowboys. 


Students will also be able to take a trip every Wednesday to travel to the Union Kempsville High School Museum, which is a museum for the first African-American school in the region. It operated from 1953 to 1969. The school was originally located where Renaissance Academy is now, and the museum is inside of Renaissance.


“We’re going there because…no one had any idea it existed,” said Nurse. 


Other events include performances in the auditorium every Thursday during lunch. On the 6th, Kempsville’s dance team is performing, on the 13th there is a step team performance, a rap battle on the 20th, and a poetry slam on the 27th.

Photo via VBCPS.
Union Kempsville High School, prior to its demolishment. Renaissance Academy is located on top of where the school was.


On February 18, the Virginia Opera will be performing “Oh Freedom” during second block in the auditorium. Students will go with their class if their teacher signed them up. 


There will also be Real Talks hosted in the EBA space during lunch each Wednesday. The first, on the 5th, is about sports, the 12th is concerning music, the 19th about police, and the 26th about community. 


Kempsville concludes the month with a spirit week. There will also be film screenings every day the week of the 24th.


 On Monday, Feb. 24, the theme is “The Bluest Eye” for Toni Morrison’s novel, and the recognition for Morrison’s literary genius. Students are asked to wear the color blue to represent patience. Tuesday is “Endeavor” for famous African American scientists, specifically Mae Carol Jemison. Students are asked to wear green this day to represent courage. On Wednesday, students are asked to wear yellow for perseverance, and in honor of the African Historian Garter G. Woodson. Thursday is a day of red for resilience for Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician whose life story was made into “Hidden Figures.” Lastly, on Friday, students wear the color purple for pride, for the memory of Kobe Bryant, and for famous African American sports heroes. 


With all of the different types of activities provided students are given a chance to further develop their knowledge of the goals, struggles, and big dreams that became true for African Americans.