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Aldine ISD Celebrates Black History Month

Schools across the district will celebrate the culture, traditions, and contributions of African Americans.

Aldine ISD will be celebrating Black History Month throughout the month of February.

Black History Month celebrates the achievements of African Americans and recognizes the prominent role of African Americans in U.S. history. Black History Month, created by American Historian Carter G. Woodson, originally began as Negro History Week. Since 1976, every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Black History Month is also celebrated in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Notable figures highlighted during Black History Month are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who fought for equal rights in the 50s and 60s; Mae Jemison, the first female African American astronaut to travel to space; John Lewis, an American politician and civil rights activist who served on the House of Representatives; and Kamala Harris, the first female vice president of the United States, as well as the first African American and Asian American vice president.

This year, the national Black History Month theme focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.). Additionally, it focuses on the importance of taking care of oneself — both physically and mentally. Initiatives to help decrease disparities have provided several outcomes, including having more diverse practitioners and representation in all segments of the medical and health fields.

Last year we focused on the legacy of prominent African Americans in our own community. We sat down with Aldine ISD Board President Randy Bates, Jr., Ms. Cathy Griggs, wife of the late Merlin D. Griggs, Sr., former Aldine ISD Trustee and Griggs EC/PK/K School Namesake and Ms. Marine Jones former Aldine ISD Trustee, employee, and Jones Middle School Namesake, to discuss legacy, service, and creating change on All The Things: The Aldine ISD Podcast.

These Aldine ISD history makers and legacy builders shared their stories and it is our hope that you take time to pause and celebrate the legacy builders and history makers here in Aldine ISD. Use their stories for inspiration, and look for ways to build your own legacy and make real change.

Listen to All The Things: The Aldine ISD Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, and Spotify.

You can listen to these podcast episodes:

Season 1 Episode 3: Legacy + Service with Board President Randy Bates, Jr.
Season 1 Episode 4: Legacy Builders & History Makers with Cathy Griggs and Marine Jones

Oratory Competition

The second annual Aldine ISD Black History Oratory Competition kicked off on January 24, 2022.

The competition will coincide with Black History Month in February and serve as a districtwide celebration. The competition is open to all Aldine ISD students in grades 3-12. Each campus will host individual campus competitions before selecting the top winner at each campus.

Participating students will individually create a spoken presentation that relates to the theme, ChangeMakers.

In 3 to 5 minutes, students will describe how an African American leader has demonstrated leadership by inspiring others, connecting people of different cultures, and impacting change.

Ways to Celebrate

This year, District leaders will celebrate Black History Month with special events and activities held at the Donaldson Administration Building (DAB) and the Bamberg Professional Development and Resource Center (BAM). This will include a book study, Black Heritage Day, a virtual panel on the importance of Black Health and Wellness, a celebration of HBCUs and Greek Letter organizations, student performances, soul food, music, dance, and much more.

Join us throughout the month by using hashtag #AldineBHM to share your Black History Month celebrations.

Below are ways you can celebrate and learn more about Black people, arts, culture, and food.

— Celebrate World Read Aloud Day with author Tami Charles

— Join bestselling author and former teacher Tami Charles to discuss the impact of bringing people together through story with the heartfelt picture book All Because You Matter, illustrated by Bryan Collier.

— Delve into the fallacy that soul food was solely for eating. Instead, it was also for the soul, justice, community efforts, and so much more.

— PBS: Black Culture Connection