Toyota Executive headlines Black History Program



On February 28, THS hosted a Black History Program for students, faculty members and the community. Audience members had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Sean Suggs, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi as well as hearing Tupelo students sing and celebrate.

This program serves to give a voice to the students in ways.

“We practice really hard for this one day, this one event, in the month of February which is Black History Month,” junior Lauren Tubbs said. “Me and all the other participants in the choir are very appreciative of the program. It lets us have a voice.”

Mr. Suggs told the student body the story of his introduction to bootcamp, and how he was rewarded for thinking first not acting first. He became platoon leader due to thinking fast on his feet.

While everyone else was “doing the crazy [he was]doing the calm.”

“Ikigai,” Suggs said, “a Japanese word I learned- It means ‘your purpose in life’.”

Suggs went on to tell students that they should “find your purpose in life.”

Suggs also told of a motto that he uses to support and encourage his staff at Toyota.

“If it is to be, it’s up to me!” chanted Suggs along with the students.

Student participation went beyond the choir and singing celebrations. It also included visual arts. Julia Mann and Tony Mays created art while the choir sang.

“The purpose of having the students from my class work with the Black History program was to integrate arts in motion and to represent that particular population [special education students] into the program” Mrs. Noe said.

The Black History program served to give THS students motivation to go out and do big things.

“Each and everyone is destined for greatness, but you have to make the commitment every day,” Suggs said.