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Representation Matters: Educators Go All Out for Black History Month

Black educators deck the halls in celebration of historic African-American heroes.

Representation Matters: Educators Go All Out for Black History Month
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Educators across America are using more than textbooks to teach their students during Black History Month. In February, many teachers decorated their classroom doors or bulletin boards with prominent African-American figures, positive affirmations or other imagery of representation.

Although the BLM lessons have been a trend, social media has allowed the creativity of faculty members and students to be shared outside of the classroom.

Shaewon Pearson, a third-grade teacher at New York’s Challenge Preparatory Charter School, and Glen Mourning, a fourth-grade reading teacher at Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., decked their doors with sports icons LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick, respectively.

“I’ve always dreamed of becoming an NFL superstar and when this guy right here decided to fight for love and equality,” Mourning wrote about the athlete-activist. “He changed my perspective on what being a big-time playmaker actually meant. Make the game-winning move in the game of life!”

Pearson said told EBONY she wanted to use the NBA superstar because he is a current example of Black Excellence her students can look to.

“I chose to use LeBron James to represent for Black History Month because every year the students learn about the same people from the past such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks,” she said. “By shining a light on the people who are making a difference in our communities today allows the students to visualize themselves in those shoes. The students start to think how they can be recognized by helping [their] communities. LeBron James was a great choice because many of my students value him as an athlete but don’t see the many things he does to give back to the community. It’s important that they understand all athletes just don’t buy expensive cars and clothes. We mainly focused the I Promise school that he opened. “

Others Black History Month presentations included lots of natural hair appreciation, musical legends such as Tupac Shakur and Michael Jackson, and NASA’s hidden figure Katherine Johnson and astronaut Mae Jemison.

In February 2018, Kimberly Tatuem, a Baltimore teacher whose BHM door went viral, told the Baltimore Sun about how the decorations benefit students.

“It’s about encouraging them to love themselves,” she said. “The display encourages them to be comfortable in their own skin.”

Check out the doors below.

Note: Not every door could not be linked to a school or teacher. If you have any information regarding any of the selected artwork or would like to submit more awesome projects, leave a comment below or contact us @EBONYMag.

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