Carver Nation’s Culture Week promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement

Carver Nation’s Culture Week promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement
May 23
12:31 2024

By  Felecia Piggott-Long, Ph.D.

The student body of Carver Nation was exposed to a week of international engagement from May 14-17 on the campus. Pamela Hall, social studies department chair, and I, the English department chair, coordinated events throughout the week, but several departments assisted with this endeavor. The English department, the art department, the history department, Mr. Crum of the CTE department, and students from the marching band, under the tutelage of Juan Eckard, supported this year’s observance as well. 

Hall was pleased with the outcome of this year’s celebration.  “I think everything went well. The students did an excellent job of performing, decorating, and researching for their projects,” said Hall. “During the performances, the audience enjoyed themselves, and they were very engaged.”

The culminating assembly program took place on Thursday, May 16, in the school auditorium. Senior Jonathan Gakeri served as the emcee for the Cultures of the World Fashion Show. He introduced Barbara Alvarez, who opened the show with a Culture Day poem. The first group of models displayed fashions from Rwanda, Vietnam, Ghana, China, Mexico and El Salvador.

During the first intermission, Menish Bland, Isaiah Robinson, Aditsan Hernandez, Jyaire Cash,  De’Seanea Goins, Melvina Robinson and Siarra Bass performed poems from the Harlem Renaissance such as “Mother to Son,” “I, Too,” and “I’ve Known Rivers” by Langston Hughes; “Beehive” by Jean Toomer, and  “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson.

The second group of models presented fashions from Puerto Rico, Honduras, Samon, Hawaii, Spain, Brazil, The Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Dylianis Rios Diaz and some of her friends performed the Booma dance from their native country of Puerto Rico. Many of the students in the audience clapped and stomped their feet along with their dance.

The third group of models represented Ethiopia, Queen of Africa, Sudan, Pakistan, Germany, Native American, Chester Cheetah, and the United States. Ben Piggott and I performed our original rap called “What Happened to the Dream?” which questioned, “If King were here, here today, just what would he say? Would he be pleased with what we’ve done, or hang his head and walk away?”

“I really enjoyed the interaction between the rappers and the students. They participated so well together. I felt like I was at a concert,” said Principal Thyais Maxwell. “The students were very engaged and well-behaved.”

On Monday, May 14, Cherie Kimbrough of the English department invited artist Kayyum Allah, the founder of the Happy Hill Garden Art Collective, to share many of his historical paintings from the oldest African American community in North Carolina – Happy Hill Garden. Allah shared paintings about the shotgun houses, the Happy Hill Garden Reunion, the first African school in Happy Hill, the female gospel group called The Ebonettes, who were named after Rising Ebenezer Baptist Church where they attended spiritual services, and about “The Black Family,” and The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, among other topics.

Deborah Cummings and Tracey Stover, the Carver art instructors, created a Rainbow of Cultures Gallery Walk from their students’ art projects in the media center. The walk included the aboriginal art their students created, such as rain sticks and boomerangs. 

“I like to expose my students to art from various cultures and time periods. They can make comparisons and identify patterns, motifs, and traditions that emerge,” said Cummings. “They can evaluate art from different perspectives.”

On May 17, Stracy Stover’s students taught other students about the background of Origami, a Japanese art form. Students from various classes came in to make their own origami designs after being taught the Japanese stories that contribute to the meaning of origami.

Students from the economics and personal finance classes created projects from more than 25 different cultures, such as Jamaican, Phillipino, El Salvadoran, Mexican, Brazilian, and even American soul food. The students also joined in the telling of a story called “La Llorona,” about a woman who grieves because she has lost her children. 

“We had several different departments supporting the cultural program this year. This kind of collaboration helps students to make interdisciplinary connections,” said Hall. “This kind of extended learning can raise cultural awareness in the school. They can see culture from many different perspectives.”

“The Culture Week at Carver was a special event! It incorporated music, customs and attire from all over the world. Our students and our staff enjoyed it and learned a lot,” said Dr. Maxwell.

About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors