TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Tyler Independent School District’s A.W. Orr Elementary is celebrating Black History Month with dancing, music and speeches. The school had a special event on
Tuesday. Principal Lauren Smith says students are learning about African American traditions this month.

“Man, it’s so important for kids to see the excellence in their culture and just see things that have happened in history,” she said.

Larry Wade, a long-time educator across East Texas, was a guest speaker for the event.

“I told them the importance of not only being Black but whatever race, nationality, culture that they came from to know and learn all they can about it,” he said.

Wade was just elected as the first African American President of the Smith County Historical Society.

“I felt like I was standing on the shoulders of many before me, who have helped raised me, who have gone before me. Many (people) are no longer living who helped to mold me into the person I am today,” said Wade.

He added it’s imperative to teach students about history, so they don’t repeat it.

“It’s so important to educate our children because our children are our future leaders,” said Wade.

The Tyler High School choir and jazz band also performed.

The event showed these young minds they can do anything they put their minds to and to always have pride in their culture.