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Guest Speakers and Bandan Koro Dancers Bring History and Culture to McKinney Boyd Black History Celebration

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
McKinney Boyd High School students dance onstage with members of the Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble during Boyd's annual Black History Celebration held on February 16, 2023, in the Boyd Auditorium.

McKinney Boyd High School students dance onstage with members of the Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble during Boyd's annual Black History Celebration held on February 16, 2023, in the Boyd Auditorium.

McKinney, Texas — Students filled the stage at McKinney Boyd High School, moving in unison as they locked in on the choreography of the Bandan Koro dancers in front of them and the kinetic rhythm of the drummers behind them. Students in the seats of the packed auditorium cheered them on, caught up in the joyful energy pouring from the stage.

It was Boyd’s annual Black History Month celebration, held this year on Thursday, February 16, and the Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble was there to share some of the history and culture of African dance. When they called for volunteers from the audience, they were met with an enthusiastic response.

students dancing in unison onstage

McKinney Boyd students dance with the Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble during the Boyd Black History Month celebration on February 16.

Before Bandan Koro took the stage, Boyd Assistant Principal Pam Johnson welcomed everyone and introduced Empress Drane—McKinney High School alum, member of the MISD Athletics Hall of Honor and current McKinney City Secretary—who spoke about the history of the African American community in McKinney and the importance of striving for understanding and working together.

“A lot of times, we might think that black history is only for black people, and Hispanic heritage is only for Hispanic people,” said Drane. “But quite truly, when we think about it, all of the history that has happened before us and brought us here together in this place—all of that history belongs to everyone. Can we agree on that? The more that we work together and the more that we try to learn about each other…the unique things about us that define our different cultures…we find a lot of commonality among us.”

Empress Drane at the podium

City of McKinney Secretary Empress Drane speaks at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration held at McKinney Boyd on Thursday, February 16.

Then Marta Gore, an MISD parent, substitute teacher and respected member of the community, who for years has served on boards and committees for both the City of McKinney and MISD, spoke about the many black inventors who made life better for everyone with creations such as the lawn mower, automatic elevator doors, refrigerated trucks and a host of other machines and devices.

“The 2023 Black History Program at McKinney Boyd High School was a great success,” said Johnson. “We set out to provide our students with an experience rich in tradition and information to celebrate the contributions that African Americans have made to our society. Bandan Koro African Dancers shared experiences associated with African culture and history through the medium of dance and music. They foster a greater awareness, understanding, appreciation and respect for African and African Diaspora related music, dance and culture.”

Photos

speaking and gesturing while at the podium

Community member Marta Gore speaks at the Boyd Black History Month Celebration about the contributions of black inventors.

dancers onstage in traditional African attire

The Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble performs at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration.

Pam Johnson at the podium

McKinney Boyd High School Assistant Principal Pam Johnson welcomes students to the Boyd Black History Month Celebration.

Dancer at front of stage with arms upraised standing on one leg

The Bandan Koro African Dance Ensemble performs at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration on February 16, at McKinney Boyd High School.

Drummer at front of stage with a conga smiling at audience

The Bandan Koro African Dance Ensemble performs at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration on February 16, at McKinney Boyd High School.

dancer at front of stage with arms upraised

The Bandan Koro African Dance Ensemble performs at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration on February 16, at McKinney Boyd High School.

dancer at front of stage speaking on microphone

The Bandan Koro African Dance Ensemble performs at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration on February 16, at McKinney Boyd High School.

Drummer leaning forward with eyes on the audience as he hits the drums.

The Bandan Koro African Dance Ensemble performs at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration on February 16, at McKinney Boyd High School.

students dancing on stage and smiling

The Bandan Koro African Dance Ensemble leads students in traditional African dances at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration on February 16, at McKinney Boyd High School.

Bandan Koro at front of stage leading students in dance

The Bandan Koro African Dance Ensemble leads students in traditional African dances at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration on February 16, at McKinney Boyd High School.

students with arms upraised, following dance and smiling

McKinney Boyd students follow the lead of the Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble during the Boyd Black History Celebration at McKinney Boyd on February 16.

Students and Bandan Koro dancers dancing with increasing intensity.

The Bandan Koro African Dance Ensemble leads students in traditional African dances at the McKinney Boyd Black History Month Celebration on February 16, at McKinney Boyd High School.

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If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

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