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Arts High School Students Perform for State Legislators in Celebration of Black History Month

Highlighting youth talent as part of the Assembly’s recognition of Black History Month, Assemblywoman Shanique Speight (D-Essex) invited 20 students from Arts High School in Newark to perform for legislators during the Assembly’s voting session Feb. 24.

The Arts High School Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jerry Forderhase and Mr. Stephen Wu, performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in observance of Black History Month.

“It’s wonderful to see such amazing talent among our youth,” said Speight, who represents the 29th legislative district that includes Arts High School. “Students at Arts High School work hard every day to nurture their talent. It’s only fitting that as we pay tribute to our history during Black History Month, we celebrate the promise of the next generation. I also want to thank Superintendent Roger Leon and Arts High School staff and administrators for their endless support of our students.”

Arts High School was founded in 1931 as the country’s first public school for the arts. Today, it serves about 600 students in grades 7 through 12.

To view a full video of the choir’s performance, visit