Black History Month Around Our Schools

Black History Month Around Our Schools
Posted on 03/04/2019

This month, the Montclair Public Schools celebrated African American with interesting and vibrant activities across the district. In addition to the curriculum that integrates African American history throughout the year, in February, students displayed and demonstrated their learning to honor and recognize African Americans who have enriched our society with their contributions. They also had the opportunity to enjoy various historical and cultural presentations and assemblies.

Bradford kicked off Black History Month with Ssuna, an incredible performer from Uganda. Through music and dance, students are learning about Ugandan culture and respecting cultural differences. The Bradford PTA sponsored this interactive music and dance assembly.

African drum performance

Buzz Aldrin students were treated to a screening of the documentary, “The Other Boys of Summer” a film about the history of the Black Negro League. Emmy-nominated director Lauren Meyer was on hand to answer questions from students.

students watch documentary

Performer Rochel Garner Coleman entertained Edgemont students with his engaging and entertaining storytelling. Playing the black cowboy, “Nat Love,” Garner Coleman treated the audience to the life and times of this ex-slave who joined thousands of others like him to explore and settle the West. Based on stories from Love’s autobiography, the one-man show was written by Garner Coleman and recreates his story from birth into slavery to his walk to freedom and how he won his name. In addition, Edgemont held a schoolwide assembly where all students participated. Third graders had the opportunity to visit The Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art in Harlem, NY.

man performs for students    students perform at assembly  students visit museum

Renaissance’s assembly allowed the school to be reflective of the connection between the Civil Rights Movement, the road it has paved for so many and the struggles that we continue to see in the headlines. In a show of solidarity around issues of inequality, the entire student body marched in silence to the multi-purpose room while the iconic “I have a Dream” speech played over the intercom system. When students arrived in the multi-purpose room they sat and viewed the continued speech until it finished. The assembly included student performances and guest speaker Andrew Binger, an educator, actor, mentor and community activist from Orange, NJ. Read more here.

student dancers                 black history month speaker

At Watchung, the school community enjoyed a Black History Month assembly that included educational and artistic expression. Students decked out in African garb explained the significance of Black History Month, while others, dressed as groundbreaking black role models including Josephine Baker, Crispus Attucks, Katherine G. Johnson, Shaka Zulu, Gabby Douglas and Barack Obama. Umoja Dance Company gave a rousing African drum and dance performance and Montclair students from MADLOM (Montclair Academy & Laboratory of Dance, Drum and Drama showed off their drumming skills.

African drummers and dancers                  African drummers

students in African garb                  students dressed as historic black figures

For a full look all the classroom activities, projects and more that took place in the district, see the full summary.

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