These individuals are using their voices to make change happen. We present to you the moments in Black History you may (or may not) have missed!
As we promised last week, here are some highlights from week 2:
1. Danielle Herrington graces the cover of Sports Illustrated.
The 24-year old Compton native is the second Black model behind Tyra Banks to pose for the swimsuit cover. She is the third Black woman behind Banks and Beyoncé. After posting the image on Instagram, Herrington said this about her experience, “I dedicate this to all the young girls out there. Work hard, surround yourself with good people who believe in you and your DREAMS WILL COME TRUE!”
2. This educator is teaching history her way.
Elexus Jionde is a 24-year-old educator who unabashedly believes in the power of putting Black narratives first. The activist and speaker currently owns Intelexual Media, a platform that raises awareness and teaches us to embrace our sexuality. Jionde is also the author of a hugely successful book, “Angry Black Girl,” and currently hosts a popular web series titled “Two Minute History” on Black And Sexy TV. To learn more about the impassioned educator, follow her on social media here.
3. A Utah elementary school changes name to honor “Hidden Figures” scientist.
This week, the Salt Lake City school board unanimously voted to honor NASA first black female engineer Mary Jackson by changing the name of Andrew Jackson Elementary School to Mary Jackson Elementary School, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Jackson, along with colleagues Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn were portrayed Oscar-award winning film–which starred Taraji P. Henson as Johnson, Janelle Monae (who portrayed Jackson), and Octavia Spencer (who portrayed Vaughn). When the change occurs, Mary Jackson elementary will become the first school in Utah’s history to be named after a woman.
4. A Bronx elementary school principal tried to ban Black History Month activities but the surrounding community wasn’t having it.
Activists in the Bronx took to the streets to protest a local principal’s decision after she allegedly confiscated several student’s Black History Month projects and fought against an English teacher’s lesson plan on the Harlem Renaissance. Patricia Catania, the principal of Middle School 224, is currently under fire after the incident which reportedly took place on Tuesday afternoon. For several days, community activists have called for Catania’s resignation, and have also called on the Department of Education and Mayor Bill de Blasio, to act.
5. This Georgia teacher used art to convey a powerful message.
Nakimer Daniels, an Albany, Georgia, teacher was inspired to participate in a Black History Month arts challenge after scrolling through her Facebook feed over the weekend. Daniels, an artist in her own right, decided she would tap into her craft to surprise her students. Her creation portrayed two portraits of Black children adorned with large streamers in the shape of hair. In between the portraits were photos of important figures in Black history including Stevie Wonder, Martin Luther King Jr., and The Obamas. Daniels’ work soon went viral and to date has over 70,000 shares.”I got a lot of good response from people all over the world,” she said in an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer. “I think it’s a great way to inspire the children.”
6. “Black Panther” weekend is amongst us.
While it’s no secret that Friday marks the official opening night of the blockbuster film, we just can’t stop reveling in the majesty of Wakanda. The film which stars, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forrest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurari and Letitia Wright, is estimated to make at least $25 billion, which would make it the largest Marvel opening in history. Moviegoers have arrived to pre-opening night viewings decked out in their interpretations of Black excellence. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the weekend! #WeAreWakanda!