ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. —
Members of Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, participated in a Black History Month assembly at Altus High School (AHS) to help raise awareness and educate students about heritage African-American and its impact on music, February 15, 2022.
Desiree Hartman, 97th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant, made the presentation to the assembly.
“I really like talking to young people,” Hartman said. “I liked that they loved all the music, could relate to some of it and were open to learning. I always say music brings everyone together, so it was a great experience for me.
Hartman’s presentation included the history of African American influence on music dating back to the 1920s and included popular hip-hop and rap today.
For example, some songs from the 1950s included beats and sounds that can still be heard in hip-hop and rap today.
“I found out that it wasn’t just that I didn’t know the music before the assembly, but it brought back old memories of why I loved this kind of music,” Trinity said. McDole, Altus High School choir student. “It brought back all the good feelings and good memories that come with it.”
The AHS Choir performed Jim Reeves’ “Jesus Lord Take My Hand,” a song that honors the history of African-American culture and relates to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“Singing, it was good to get everyone to calm down and listen, and they were very committed to the music,” McDole said.
Hartman explained that she wanted to provide an engaging presentation that would still educate students, so she chose music as her medium.
“It’s important to do things like this because I think sometimes we go back to old norms and mainstream African-American stories,” Hartman said. “I want them to know that we have so much more to offer. We’re so diverse in other ways, whether it’s food, clothes or music.