CityLink hosted its fifth annual Black History Month celebration.
It featured stirring performances from Peoria High School students as they sang hymns and reanacted famous speeches from African-American cultural leaders.
Peoria alumni and Black Lives Matter member Unique Worthy read poetry at Thursday’s event.
“I hope they felt pride, I hope they felt empowerment and I hope they felt love for who they are,” Worthy said.
A crowd packed CityLink’s transit center to take in the performances. Bradley Athletic Director Chris Reynolds delivered a powerful speech as the event’s keynote speaker.
“It’s very important to understand our history,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds encouraged young listeners to have self confidence and think positively about their future, regardless of their conditions at home.
“I think it’s important for our young people to experience things like today and it is important to see people who have overcome challenges,” Reynolds said.
To cap the event, students reanacted the well-known moment when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955.
Artwork with pictures and quotes of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X and Oprah Winfrey were also on display.