Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Black History Month is coming alive in Milwaukee Public Schools! Students and staff across the district are planning and taking part in projects and performances to honor the contributions of Black Americans who have helped build our country and promote peace and equality.
At Fernwood Montessori, students in 5-year-old kindergarten each chose an inspirational Black leader, wrote reports, and then presented their research to the whole class. Reports focused on Kobe Bryant, Jackie Robinson, Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, Alma Thomas, Lonnie Johnson, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Henrietta Lacks, and George Washington Carver. On Friday, February 5, Fernwood staff showed their enthusiasm for the Black Lives Matter Week of Action by wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts. Students had a chance to see their teachers supporting the important messages of the week as a kickoff to Black History Month.
At Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School, students annually host a Black Film Festival. All classrooms choose a film that highlights the African-American experience, and the entire school watches the films and spends the next day discussing the movies. This year, the school is partnering with other MPS Turnaround Arts schools and Nō Studios to host a virtual talkback. Nō Studios was founded in Milwaukee by Academy Award winner and Milwaukee native John Ridley and his sister Lisa Caesar. The event taking place this month is a conversation with Hisonni Mustafa, the first Wisconsin winner of the African-American Film Festival. Mustafa is an MPS alumnus who grew up in the Lindsay Heights community and attended Phyllis Wheatly School. He credits his school experiences as his inspiration to become a filmmaker.
We are proud of the efforts of our schools in bringing Black History Month to life. Watch for more stories of our students’ activities throughout February!