Throughout February, in celebration of Black History Month, students across the Sachem Central School District have been participating in a collection of lessons on prominent African American art, music, poetry, and men and women in history.
In elementary schools around the district, students learned about Ruby Bridges, an elementary school student who at 6 years old was one of the first African Americans to desegregate a public school. Students learned about Bridges and then discussed the similarities they shared with each other. Additionally, students read Scholastic news articles on historical African American icons such as Mary McLeod Bethune, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson and Harriet Tubman.
At the secondary level, students reflected on the civil rights movement and the nonviolent acts of Martin Luther King Jr. through civil disobedience. Students also watched the movie “Remember the Titans,” which tells the true story of the mandated integration of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, during the civil rights era of the 1960s. Students needed to identify examples of discrimination before explaining how the community and individuals overcame them.
As part of a study on the Roaring ’20s, students looked at the Harlem Renaissance and how African Americans contributed to the culture of the United States through the rebirth of African American music, literature, poetry, art and dance, showcasing key members of the movement including Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay and Bessie Smith.