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Leo Catholic High School Resurrects Old School Quiz Show to Celebrate Black History Month

On Friday, February 16, 2018 Leo Catholic High School students challenged each other during its second annual, "Know Your Black History" contest. If you grew up in Chicago in the 70's, you might recall there was local TV show, which was televised every Saturday, that tested your Black History knowledge. The show highlighted high school students who competed against peers from other high schools across the city. They played each other mainly for school bragging rights, by answering the most questions posed to them about their African American history.

Only this time, it was not televised, however, there was a moderator, time-keeper and three judges who carefully selected questions for topics including the arts, sports, writers, geography etc. from all periods of time in Black History. These questions were not for the faint at heart. You really needed to know your black history, to compete against these Leo Catholic School scholars. 

The contest consisted of three rounds of Black History questions played initially with the Freshman team against the Sophomore team in round one. The Juniors and the Seniors played against each other in round two. The third round was to crown the winner, who could take away the 2018 African American History championship. The final round was between the lucky Freshman and the Senior teams.

Wait for it, it a very close round, clad with a few shout-outs from the student audience, which resulted in a reprimand/reminder to the body of Leo sportsmanship, from Principal Shaka Rawls. He commanded and immediately received silence, so the final question could be asked by the commentator. Ultimately the Freshman team walked away with bragging rights as the winner! They knew the answer that actor, Paul Robeson was the star of "Emperor Jones."

Little Known Black History Fact:
"Paul Robeson was the epitome of the 20th-century Renaissance man. He was an exceptional athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, and political activist. His talents made him a revered man of his time, yet his radical political beliefs all but erased him from popular history. Today, more than one hundred years after his birth, Robeson is just beginning to receive the credit he is due.

Returning to his love of public speaking, Robeson began to find work as an actor. In the mid-1920s he played the lead in Eugene O’Neill’s “All God’s Chillun Got Wings” (1924) and “The Emperor Jones” (1925). Throughout the late 1920s and 1930s, he was a widely acclaimed actor and singer. With songs such as his trademark “Ol’ Man River,” he became one of the most popular concert singers of his time."

Leo's high energy cultural celebration was open to parents, families and the community. An afternoon highlight, as always was the singing of old negro spirituals including the Leo choirs rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and the newer and powerful theme song from the motion picture movie "Glory."

The celebration also featured music by local African drummers and dancers who of course pulled in the audience for some unique moves. With folks joining in the dance when called, a good time was had by all. It was especially exciting for the Leo men to see their elders aka Coach Holmes, teachers, parents and their peers dancing to the beat of the drums. Even Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporations office assistance, Diane Hodges gave a rendition of African belly dance moves (fully clothed that is), adding the roars and cheers that filled the Leo Catholic School auditorium.

New this year was the awarding of a certificate of achievement, for all the teams and gift certificates to the winners!

Another part of the tradition is for a few other partners to participate, by manning a table with information for the Leo students, including The Salvation Army Kroc Center promoting their after school and spring break activities.

Take a look a the videos and photos that were shared for the event.

Video courtesy of Diane Hodges

Happy Black History Month! How are you celebrating?

Keywords: Auburn Grehsam, black history, Culture, Leo Catholic High School

Posted in Community Highlights, Education Initiatives