It’s February and that means children across The City are reading books, performing plays and making art related to Black history.
February’s distinction began in 1926 and was formalized in 1976. The founder of Black History Month, Carter G. Woodson, chose February to honor the birth months of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
Not only are our teachers focused on Black history this month, the African American Parent Advisory Council says “we want to show everyone just how much our young people love to read.”
They issued a challenge to all students: read as many books as you can by African American authors and submit your reading logs by the end of the month. Students with returned and completed logs will be entered into a raffle and may win a prize!
LEARNING OUR HISTORY
As you can imagine, our students don’t just learn about the contributions of Black people in February. SFUSD teachers incorporate African American history into the curriculum throughout the year at all grade levels.
In addition, all of our high schools offer ethnic studies classes and some schools now offer African American heritage electives.
These courses are rooted in the long-standing tradition and hardwork of Bay Area educators to develop and teach a more rich historical narrative that centers on the perspectives of historically marginalized communities, including African Americans.
Students examine race, ethnicity, nationality and culture in the United States. Students discover how, throughout history, marginalized groups have found their own power and used it for the benefit of not only themselves, but also for their community.
We should expect something about every child’s history to be reflected in the curriculum.
And, for those children who have been historically underrepresented or misrepresented, our schools strive to be a welcoming place where people who look like them are reflected in what they learn.
In all months — but even more so in February, we encourage all our schools give dedicated time and space to the celebration of Black history, Black people, and their contributions to the fields of literature, mathematics, science, and politics and many more fields.
Want to participate in the African American authors’ reading challenge? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.