Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Pine Forge Academy Turns Up Dial on Black History Learning

Story by Tracey Jackson

Studying the history of African Americans and people of color is a year-round pursuit at Pine Forge Academy (PFA). But during Black History Month, the focus is greater with programs and activities to educate students and the community about their accomplishments.

This year, the young men of Handy Hall organized the weekend, themed “Black History and Love,” in which they displayed their leadership, administrative skills and talents with the student body on a spiritual and recreational level. Worship services included speaker Danny Williams, former PFA chaplain and creative arts director, and Jillian Monet, praise and worship evangelist. Workshops focused on “Who Am I?” and “The Purpose of Dating and Sexual Purity.”

Other events included the Blacks in Wax Showcase, organized and presented by the Honors African American Literature Class. Students dressed as favorite African American notables and gave biographical monologues. Some of the presenters included Lael Beckles (’22) as Joe Louis Clark—the inner-city high school principal from Paterson, N.J., on which the 1989 film Lean on Me was based; and Sarai Bartley (’22), who portrayed talk show host, television producer, actress, author and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey.

Immanuel Cummings (’22) portrayed Elijah Eugene Cummings—an American politician and civil rights advocate who served in the United States House of Representatives for Maryland.

Additionally, PFA’s United Student Movement (USM) planned a Black History-focused Spirit Week where student attire, cafeteria cuisine and school decor focused on social justice issues, celebrating the diverse cultures within the black community. Worship weekends carried different themes like Wakanda Worship, Caribbean Worship and Black American Worship, including a panel discussion focusing on “Being Black in Adventism.”

Through the biblical teaching and sharing of a rich history that stretches back to the beginning of mankind, students share that their hearts were moved to a deeper acceptance of a Faithful Father who has a plan for each of them. Students were taught the importance of knowing and loving who God created them to be so they can fulfill the purpose He has for their lives. The staff and faculty are praising God that the experiences of this Black History Month have added to the harvest reaped
of approximately 16 baptismal candidates for the 2021–22 school year.

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