Oral History Night
Oral History Night is Oak Park Preparatory Academy’s annual celebration of Black History Month. The night consists of students sharing inspiring stories about challenges they have faced in their lives, and how they plan to use those experiences to motivate them to achieve future success. There is also a portion of the night when students and families compete in the “Who Am I” challenge in which they are given various bios of famous African Americans and must guess who they are. The families who get correct answers earn raffle tickets for prizes such as Black Panther movie tickets and great books by Black authors donated by Underground Books.
This event is in its third year and was presented by OPPA teacher and Sac High alum, James Townsend. This is more than just a night of students telling stories. It is a night of empowering students to have their voices heard, allowing them to inspire those around them and helping build a community empathetic towards students and the many struggles they face and ultimately conquer. The night was open to all St. HOPE families and community members, and everyone who attended shared moments of tears and laughter. Overall, every person in attendance left inspired and optimistic about what our scholars will achieve and the impact they will have on this world. Families had the opportunity to write messages of encouragement to the presenters. Every letter written explained the pride in our students’ strength and how thankful the attendees are to have heard such amazing stories they will never forget.