Educators: Black History Month 2020

by Diane Butts February. 05, 2020 330 views

"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

Alethea Felton, Briggs Chaney Middle School, Silver Spring, Maryland February 2020

Alethea Felton, Briggs Chaney Middle School, Silver Spring, Maryland February 2020

"Black History is still important and necessary in 2020. There are so many black children particularly who do not know the rich history of who we are as a people or from where we come."

"My student population is majority black and teaching black history to them instills pride and hope. As a society we know the “big names” of black history such as Rev. King and Rosa Parks, but there are so many others left unspoken and practically erased in our 21st century discussions.

It is critical to bring a rich awareness to our children (and all for that matter)about black achievement so that they may know their dreams can manifest into their reality because of those who came before them and whose legacies continue."

"I make sure in my classroom to not only profile trailblazers of our past but to show my students blacks now who are making moves in our society. Highlighting various people piques student interest and causes them to be inspired to make their mark in history as well."

Jeremy Babbs, 34, Student Support Professional, Kramer Middle School, Anacostia, Washington, DC

Jeremy Babbs, 34, Student Support Professional, Kramer Middle School, Anacostia, Washington, DC

"I moved here in 7th grade from Canada. Talk about culture shock. I learned a lot. My teachers taught me a lot, including about Maya Angelou and others. I got a good black history education.

And when I was in my masters’ program, we really dug deep. Now, I do a lot of learning on my own. Nowadays kids know of black history, but not much about it. We can do a better job of infusing into it into the DCPS curriculum.

Kids need to realize they’re on the shoulders of giants and they can pick up where people left off and create something special. It’s all in how you approach it."

Jessica Rucker, History Teacher, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, Washington DC

Jessica Rucker, History Teacher, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, Washington DC

“In 2020, like Lucille Clifton wrote ….

'They ask me to remember, but they want me to remember, their memories, and I keep on remembering mine.'

In the era of Trump’s ahistorical white supremacist approach to national leadership, her quote underscores the necessity and preeminence of celebrating and honoring black history through a federally designated month.

I think black history is American history and it needs to be told through various lens but absolutely through the lens of African American people. And this month affords us an opportunity to recognize and venerate and validate the contributions that African Americans have made to this nation.”

James Whitney, Math Teacher, Kramer Middle, Southeast Washington, DC

James Whitney, Math Teacher, Kramer Middle, Southeast Washington, DC

James Whitner, 26, Math teacher, Kramer Middle School, Southeast Washington, DC.

I went to school in Atlanta and then North Carolina before I came to DC. To me, it’s a lot different here. These schools are getting students ready for jobs in this century. We’re teaching mindset and skills to build the next tools we’ll be using – newer technology for everything. In terms of black history, one thing today’s students need to kno about are black inventors and how important they were, and that they can be innovators too. We are now incorporating visual arts with e-sports.

Kids overseas are doing more with gaming – they’re in countries where they make the games; they’re doing tournaments, etc. The US is finally starting to bring gaming competition here. But kids here still play on consoles and aren’t thinking how to make the games. In other countries, they’re playing on computers; the screen resolution is better … and those kids are learning how the games work and the IT that goes with it. They are digging deeper, and people are going pro.

We can help our kids make a difference – they need to know that we come from the same kind of backgrounds - and we can help them. #meandmyfuji

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