The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them. - Ida B. Wells, journalist, educator, and civil rights leader
Wellington celebrated Black History Month by putting a spotlight on the significant impact people of color have made through the ages and around the world.
Lower school students studied both legendary and lesser known contributions. From the Freedom Riders and Billie Holiday to artist/actor/football player Ernie Barnes. Third graders used an interest inventory exercise to guide them in their research. For example, an enthusiasm for government could lead a student to Thurgood Marshall of Shirley Chisolm. Fourth grade began their study of the Great Migration, and one student in particular made his own series of videos about famous African Americans.
Music classes learned about Marianne Anderson, the first black woman to appear in the Metropolitan Opera as well as greats Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and B.B. King. A study of the Harlem Renaissance was enhanced by listening and learning more about famous musicians of that time, and the Great Blues Migration was an opportunity to play a blues song on the recorder.
Explorers of the World classes in middle school researched topics centered around the people and significant events of African American history, ranging from poet Langston Hughes to Mae C. Jemison, the first black woman to travel into space. Advisory groups collaborated on researching notable people of color and then decorating classroom doors with powerful imagery of what they learned.
Upper school United States history teacher John Brown began each class with a “Black History Minute” before handing it over to students to research and present their own BHMs. Next trimester, Brown will ask students in African American History II to present an African American History Minute in the upper school morning meeting. During middle school morning meeting, 8th graders delivered a presentation on the importance of the 15th Amendment in black history.
Wellington faculty and staff also explored topics in diversity, equity, and inclusion in education during a recent professional day spent with nationally-recognized author and speaker Dr. Eddie Moore. Moore asked hard questions with no easy answers, only a greater understanding of the need to continue having difficult conversations about our country’s past, present, and future.
For all members of the Wellington community, Black History Month was an opportunity to explore and highlight the people behind some of the world’s greatest contributions made in the fields of math and science, arts and culture, civil rights, and athletics, to name just a few. By turning the light of truth on black history, we will better see all of history.
Check out photos from all the ways we're recognizing Black History Month around the school on Vidigami. We'll continue to add photos throughout the month of February.