Schools set to celebrate Black History Month2/3/2020
Black History Month is underway around the country, and students in Portland Public Schools are participating throughout the district, with gatherings, curriculum, decorations and other activities that recognize and celebrate the achievements of African Americans.
Tuesday, Feb. 4 at Grant High School, the Black Student Union and students in the equity class raised a Black Lives Matter flag in front of the school. The flag-raising kicks off a month of events at Grant that will include a Black History Month assembly (Feb. 13) and a Race Forward event (Feb. 26) meant to help normalize conversations about race between students and staff.
PPS Black History celebrations in media
Coverage of our events and people
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. students use rap to spread kindness and empathy (PPS Multimedia)
-- City commissioner helps Cleveland celebrate Black History Month (PPS Multimedia, Feb. 13)
-- Benson's principal opens gym during lunch to connect with students (KATU, Feb. 4)
-- James McGee is changing the story for students of color (KATU, Feb. 11)
-- Roosevelt High School's 5th Annual Hoodies Up Event (PPS Multimedia, Feb. 5)
-- 5th annual Hoodies Up Day at Roosevelt (PPS Photography, Feb. 5)
-- Grant High School's Black Student Union raises Black Lives Matter flag (PPS Photography, Feb. 4)
-- Harriet Tubman and Faubion Dance Show (PPS Photography, Jan. 15)
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School "Dream" speech presentation (PPS Photography, Jan. 30)
-- 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute event (PPS Photography, Jan. 20)
-- 7 from PPS receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute (PPS Pulse, Jan. 20)
-- 4th annual Racial, Identity, Development and Empowerment event (PPS Photography, Jan. 20)
-- Opera ... from a Sistah's point of view (PPS Multimedia, Jan. 21 and 22)
-- Book Donations Fuel Young Readers at Martin Luther King Jr. School (PPS Multimedia, Dec. 10)
-- Harriet Tubman Middle School students see the movie "Harriet" (PPS Multimedia, Dec. 10)
Roosevelt High School will again be among the schools to hold a Hoodies Up event on Feb. 5. The event, which is held across the country, recognizes Trayvon Martin, the African American teenager whose death in 2012 started the national Black Lives Matter movement.
A sampling of other Black History Month events around the district:
Assemblies and gatherings: Schools around the district will hold Black History Month assemblies and gatherings, including:
- Cleveland High School will hold an assembly with the theme "education through activism" with singer Arietta Ward (aka Etta's World), musician/educatioon activist Mic Crenshaw and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty (Feb. 13).
- Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School will hold a Black Panther Breakfast and Talk (Feb. 19), a cultural literacy night (Feb. 27), and community panels in partnership with Multnomah County Library on black entrepreneurs, art expression and a speech choir of students.
- Buckman Elementary will hold two assemblies, with the da Vinci Middle School African drummers opening the first (Feb. 7), and the second featuring a performer who will share the history of hip-hop (Feb. 28).
- Lane Middle School’s Black Student Union is organizing a school-wide assembly that will feature local performers (Feb. 28, 3:00 PM).
- Stephenson Elementary will hold an assembly featuring “Karida,” a young audience program about the history of tap through many generations of the African movement (Jan. 31, 1:00 PM).
- Alliance High School at Meek will have a Black Student Union assembly followed by a soul food lunch cooked by culinary class students (Feb. 21).
- Tabor Middle School will hold a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Peace Prize” assembly (Feb. 6).
- Atkinson Elementary will have a “Rainbow Dance Company” performance that explores the roots of hip-hop (Feb. 26, 10:00 AM).
- Beaumont Middle School will feature performances by the school’s choir and band, along Sebe Kan, a local African youth dance group, and a speech by Dr. Michael “Chappie” Grice on Black History Month (Feb. 21).
- Roseway Heights Middle School will share videos made by the school’s RWH Reporters, and will also display a slideshow of the school’s students who identify as African American, Black or African (Feb. 28, 3:00 PM)
Curriculum: Black history is a big part of lesson plans throughout the district year-round, and February will see schools focus even more on it.
- At Markham Elementary, students will learn about the life of Dr. King, write peace poems and study the civil rights movement.
- At Llewellyn Elementary, picture books and biographies will be integrated into the Lucy Calkins units.
- At Odyssey, middle school grades will do an African’s Great Civilizations video, and the school will be adorned with bulletin boards and book displays.
- Woodstock Elementary has a wide range of classroom lessons, including read-alouds, videos of speeches and documentary presentations.
- At César Chávez K-8, middle school level students will read books about black history to K-5 students, and the middle school student council will run lunch events for K-5 students.
- Rieke Elementary is conducting a freedom fighter multimedia art project by fourth and fifth graders.
- Duniway Elementary has a slew of lesson units, including studies of Vanport as part of Portland history and the exclusion laws of the 1840s.
- Whitman Elementary fifth-graders are doing culminating projects based on their studies of the Revolutionary War and slavery.
Also: Schools are celebrating the month in other ways:
- Robert Gray Middle School is launching a Black Student Union.
- Vestal Elementary will hold a march to support Black Lives Matter (Feb. 7).
- Faubion K-8 is hosting an African American Mobile Museum, will hold a peace march and will have a door decorating activity (Feb. 21).
- Jason Lee Elementary will hold its 2nd annual “Black Brilliance” celebration, with performances, music, food, art and learning throughout the building (Feb. 27).
- Hosford Middle School’s Black Student Union went to the Mobile Black History Museaum at PCC Cascade (Jan. 29). BSU 8th graders went to Buckman for their Black History Month assembly and handed out sweatshirts to their BSU students. The entire BSU went to Cleveland High School for their Black History Month assembly (Feb. 13). The entire school did Advisory lessons from Black Lives Matter curriculum the first week of February and are continuing lessons thoughout the month of February. They are also holding an assembly on Feb. 28. The school is also doing a "read a book by a black author" movement from the Library team in part with staff participation.
- Ainsworth Elementary has adorned its main hall bulletin board with historic figures and quotes, past and present.
- Harrison Park K-8 is holding a door design competition based on lessons about a historical African American person or event, leading to a gallery walk for students to view the finished doors.
- Scott Elementary is holding a grade-level contest with points earned for door decorating, participating in an interactive lobby display around books, and reading a book aloud. The winning grade level will get a party.
- Alameda Elementary uses multiple perspective learning throughout the school year. During Black History Month all classrooms feature books written by black authors and have more discussions about black American history.
- Glencoe Elementary teachers are paying special attention to black change makers in history and are implementing Black Lives Matter lessons in their classrooms.
- Abernethy Elementary is celebrating with classroom activities and and assembly.
- Hayhurst Elementary teachers in each grade level will be celebrating and teaching lessons about the rich history and culture of African Americans and how this American history informs who and where we are today as a nation and into our future.
- Jackson Middle School held an assembly with student speeches about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- James John Elementary is engaging in a school wide inquiry into different time periods of Black History and will host a community Black History Month celebration on February 20.
- Marysville K-8 will have school wide participation in the Black Lives Matter at School week of action, and will hold a Black History Month Door Decorating Contest.
- George Middle School completed Advisory lessons the week of Feb 3rd; and will hold an assembly later in February.
- Harriet Tubman Middle School is celebrating with Black Lives Matter t-shirts, seminar discussions, and the museum of historical figures.