African American Heritage Community Graduation
The African American Heritage Community Graduation began in the late 1990s as a celebration for graduating seniors who were active in the College Futures Program of Richland Community College. College Futures, a program designed to motivate minority students to enter higher education, was funded through a HECA grant. Dr. Jeanelle Norman, a Richland professor, served as the Director of College Futures.
The African American Heritage Community Graduation, an event of Black pride, was soon expanded to include any senior wishing to participate. A significant number of students participated. During the ceremony while dressed in their graduation attire, seniors were draped in a kente' stole by their parents. Also, recognition certificates were presented. A unique part of the ceremony was for parents to present their own encouraging words to the graduate. According to parents this was a proud moment for them.The last African American Heritage Community Graduation had been held in 2002. It was reactivated for MacArthur High School with the leadership of Ms. Janet Bunch and in cooperation with the Transfer Center of Richland Community College for the Class of 2006 from MacArthur, Eisenhower, and RCC.