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Celebrating Blackness at Children’s Take Over Sunday

Childrens Take Over Sunday

On Sunday, February 25th, students from Lakeshore Elementary’s Black & Beyond group, led by Classy Martin, took over the Sunday Celebrations at Glide Memorial Church.  Classy Martin, a leader in the congregation, has guided and shaped students at Lakeshore for 20 years.  Prior to her work at the school, Classy worked for over a decade at the Janice Mirikitani Family Youth and Childcare Center.

Childrens Take Over Sunday

Classy Martin leads students from Lakeshore at the Celebration service

The children began the service with a prayer. The children focused on the need for peace in the world, asking: “Provide peace and hope to those who are suffering from injustice.”  Classy continued the theme with an empowering message, highlighting the sacred inspiration for the Black & Beyond program and how the GLIDE community helped her raise the funds needed to create a garden at Lakeshore Elementary. View Classy’s full message in the video below.

During the service, the children had a fashion show, sang Wade in the Water, recited a poem and led a benediction. The celebration also honored a family who lost a child in a car accident and all of the students who were nominated by their teachers for the Black Honor Roll.

A powerful recitation of black Civil Rights history highlighted the march on Washington for jobs and freedom in 1968, the three marches from Selma to Montgomery, the creation of the Black Panther Party in 1966 and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.   The children marched through the sanctuary with signs, shouting: “What do we want?  Freedom!  When do we want it?  Now!”

The Rev. Cecil Williams closed the celebrations with a benediction that quoted a spiritual: “before I’d be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave.” You can view Cecil’s remarks in the video below.

After the service, a special screening of Soul of Justice: Thelton Henderson’s American Journey was held in Freedom Hall.  The film, by bay area filmmaker Abby Ginzberg, chronicles the civil rights efforts of the Honorable Thelton Henderson, his commitment to integrity and his influence on the judicial system.  Zoe Ellis and Naeemah Charles spoke at the screening.    You can screen this important film here.

Childrens Take Over Sunday

Zoe Ellis speaks to those attending the screening of Soul of Justice.