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“Michelle Obama, Michelle Obama,” chanted the young friends of 9-year-old Kimora Boyd. Kimora was just about to walk onstage, fashionably dressed and with her hair styled clearly alike to First Lady Michelle Obama. She was one of four children who participated in a skit entitled “Guess Who I Am?” which featured prominent African-American leaders.
During the evening of February 28, one of HeartShare’s two Beacon Programs entertained family and friends with a celebration of African-American History. HeartShare’s Shirley Tanyhill Beacon Program, located at P.S. 288 in Coney Island, Brooklyn, serves approximately 150 children ages 7 to 15. The event was part of the national African-American History Month which recognizes the achievements and central role African-Americans have played throughout the history of the United States.
Following a special dinner, family and friends gathered in a nearly-full auditorium for numerous performances. Margaret Williams, known as Margaret Ross from the 1960’s R&B group The Cookies, began the event with a vocal performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The children read passages and poems from Maya Angelou and other famous African-Americans. The audience cheered vibrantly while the Beacon Program’s dance group called “Elevation” performed their five routines. At the end of the night, all of the readings and performances tied together to remind the Coney Island children of one central theme, “You can accomplish your dreams, all you have to do is keep working hard for it!”