Every year when February approaches, I get this funny feeling. The feeling is difficult to describe. It’s kind of like a nervous, uneasy, anxious feeling…or kind of like an urgent, burning, and crucial feeling (if you can call these feelings). It never fails and as February approached this year, I felt the same way.
As a product of a mother who is very aware of both the plight of the African American community and the contributions they’ve made throughout history, I grew up knowing that to give back to my community was an expectation. And that in giving back to my community, I was, in fact, paying respect to and recognizing those who paved the way for me. So why do I feel apprehensive when February rolls around?
Well, the commitment I feel to sharing the accomplishments and the history of African Americans is a constant. I can sing the praises of my people to the world each and every day! 🙂 I do this throughout every unit I teach and many morning meetings that I lead. I work on affirming the identity of my own kids every day by reading books about people that look like them and passing down stories that were told to me by my family. For me, Black history is every day, and still yet I wholeheartedly appreciate the people who choose to share OUR many accomplishments during the month of February.
So thank you to the Media Specialists in the Learning Commons who showcased books and posted pictures of some very impressive African Americans throughout the Learning Commons. Thank you to the teachers in the Early Elementary Division who so creatively used brown paper to show important African Americans leaders. Thank you to the Music Department for sharing the greatness of Joplin with all those who walk to the dining hall. Thanks to the Diversity Committee for exposing our students to my history through Trinity Television. And thank you to everyone for being open to accepting and promoting diversity, in all its forms, in the classroom!
Learner, Thinker, Writer: Javonne Stewart serves Trinity School as a Sixth Grade Teacher.