The student news site of Little Rock Central High School

The Tiger Online

The student news site of Little Rock Central High School

The Tiger Online

The student news site of Little Rock Central High School

The Tiger Online

Traveling the Train Tracks of Time

School honors black history in student led production

From jazz bands in New Orleans to speakeasies in New York, the Black History Program The Voyage Feb 22 and 24, took its audience on a journey by train into moments that shaped the world.

“It’s our job to keep a legacy going, especially with how the school is such a big part of culture and history,” senior Jeremiah Johnson said. 

Johnson was involved in last year’s production as well so he knew the significance of the show. 

“I remember somebody who wasn’t Black explained to me that the production made them feel so inspired about culture and history. I love that. That made me feel like I really helped somebody,” Johnson said.

Motivated by these experiences and the leaders before him, Johnson co-directed, co-wrote, acted, danced, and worked on publicity for the program. While juggling these roles was difficult, he said the pay off was well worth it.

“What keeps me going and is the most inspiring part about it is that I’m 17 and not a lot of people my age can say that they wrote, directed, and acted in the same show,” Johnson said.

While preparing for the program, Johnson and his co-writer senior Sarah Tarawally were inspired by the rich and influential history of Central. 

“Because of our history with the integration in 1957 and because of the demographics of our students, it’s important for everyone to feel heard and to hear some of their classmates’ points of views through historical figures,” Tarawally said. 

The program highlights the untold stories of Black voices such as artists Elizabeth Catlett, Jean-Michel Basquit, and Kehinde Wiley, filmmaker Tyler Perry, writer Pearl Cleage, and singer James Brown.

A lot of the time if you’re not in AP African American Studies class, you’re just learning about Black people through the stories of slavery. The program shows our history is much more than that.

— Cooksey

From the opening dance number to the energetic Divine Nine step circle, the show was educational and engaging for the audience. 

“It gives people a chance to learn more about history in an entertaining way. People tend to pay more attention when it’s visual, interactive, and fun to watch,” senior Chandler Carter said. He was co-director and an actor in the program.

Ultimately, The Voyage shone both an informative and positive light on the history of the Black community.

“The whole point of this show is to make history memorable and inspiring,” Johnson said, “It’s to help people understand our struggles while also showing them the excellent parts of our history.”

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Steele Matthews
Steele Matthews, Social Media Editor
I am a senior and this is my second year on staff. I'll be helping to manage the Tiger News social media and hope to engage more students with the publication. Outside of school I take dance classes, beekeep, work at Camp Aldersgate, and enjoy being outdoors. I'm looking forward to a great year on staff!
Vydelia Parker
Vydelia Parker, Reporter
Hi, I'm Vydelia! I am a junior and this is my first year on the newspaper staff. I joined because I love writing and how my writing makes others feel. Outside of school I enjoy drawing, painting, and writing poetry.

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