Black History Week Emphasizes Unity, Vision, Hope

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Two Weeks ago Andrews Academy had the pleasure of celebrating Black History month within the span of a week.  The speaker, Richard Martin, enlightened everyone on the true meaning of Black History and how to See Anew, Stand Aright, Speak Aloud, and be Saved at Last.

Ms. Wright, the event sponsor, worked with student leaders to coordinate the program. AA and AU alumna Claudia Allen recommended Richard Martin after hearing him speak.

Richard Martin, originally from Tampa, Florida, became Valedictorian at Pine Forge Academy in 2007 and graduated cum laude from Oakwood University with a BA in Theology in 2013. Martin has a gift for preaching the word of the Lord and received the Moseley-Warren Homiletics Award, and was later inducted into the Academy of Preachers. He was one of the first three Seventh-day Adventists to preach at the Academy’s national festivals of young preachers. He currently is working on earning his Masters of Divinity at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs.

Each day of the week Martin would challenge the student body with a new phrase. Monday it was See Anew, Tuesday Stand Aright, Thursday Speak Aloud, and finishing strong on Friday with Saved at Last. As the titles indicate, each day’s message challenged students to live lives of integrity, purpose, honor, and hope.

“I wanted people to walk away thinking how far America has come and how enjoyable chapel could be,” said Daniella Saint-Phard, one of the student coordinators. “I didn’t want people saying ‘why do black people get a whole week/month?’ I didn’t want it to be a negative thing. I wanted everyone to walk away with something they liked from the week.”

The week had an unexpected break on Wednesday. Chapel and Assembly were combined to create international Assembly/food fair, which had been put off due to many snow days.

“I think the International Assembly had a positive effect,” said Avia Lowe, another Black History week student leader. “I think it added to the whole unity concept that Black History week had. Plus, everyone likes free food.”

When the week came to an end, many people had positive things to say.

“I really enjoyed it,” Alyssa Manke said. “I thought that the speaker had a very powerful message and I liked the music a lot.”

When asked what she wanted people to take from the week, Avia stated, “That Black History week is not only about the past, but also the present, the future, how far we’ve progressed as a nation, and what we can do to make things better.”

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