HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Students from the forensics program at Hattiesburg High School performed several dramatic scenes during the third Freedom Summer Dialogue Tuesday at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center.
The event focused on the role of the arts in Freedom Summer, which was a voter registration initiative for African-American residents in Mississippi in the summer of 1964.
The dialogues are a series of monthly discussions commemorating the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer. The last dialogue will be in May.
The students performed scenes from the plays, Lucy, Brokeology and The Color Purple-The Musical.
"I was just honored with the privilege to be here and to express and to show the community what our Hattiesburg High School speech and debate team is all about," said Kyra Mickens, a senior.
"Many teens my age don't get a chance to participate in events like this and for me to have the esteemed pleasure of performing for this is absolutely astounding for me," said Israel Lyons, another senior.
The event also featured an address from Scott Waldrop, the director of forensics at Hattiesburg High. He spoke about bridging achievement gaps in public education.
"Specifically, we look at the whole child, the home, the environment, how that affects test scores and data, the percentages, the statistics that tell us we've got a lot of work to do with minority students, low income students and socio-economic statuses, and that type of thing," said Waldrop.
In June, the City of Hattiesburg will host a three-day conference commemorating Freedom Summer.