There were earnest tributes to Martin Luther King Jr. and a moving clip from I Have A Dream — with two thumping Michael Jackson hits to spice up the program.

At Canada’s only public Africentric alternative school students celebrated King’s birthday yesterday with the children of Sheppard Public School, with whom they have shared a building since opening last fall.

Before a sea of Africentric vests mixed with the blue T-shirts of Sheppard, a young Africentric dance group performed Jackson’s Man in the Mirror, followed by Grade 4 and 5 students from Sheppard singing his hit Black or White.

“I like this school because we learn about people who did important stuff so we can live the
way we do today,” said nine-year-old Ayinde Skerritt-Williams, a Grade 4 student at the Africentric school.

He is one of 130 children from junior kindergarten to Grade 5 in the alternative program housed in an unused wing of Sheppard.

There is a waiting list of 50 more and the school is scrambling to find a place for the Grade 6 class it will add this fall.