Posts filed under ‘Black History Month’

Schools Throughout the District Celebrate Black History Month


Mason Muhammad Royal portrays famed scientist and inventor Dr. George Washington Carver in the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.


The auditorium at Continental Colony Elementary School was transformed into an interactive, African American “wax museum” last week, as nearly 50 students posed as famous and influential African Americans in history.

The event is part of the school’s Black History Month celebration during the month of February. Continental Colony Principal Dr. Kristen Vaughn said the school always goes all out to pay homage to the great African American leaders and events of the past.

“Our school population is 98 percent African American. It is important for us to relate our history to our students,” Vaughn said. “If we don’t tell our stories, then who will? Also, we find that many of our parents learn a great deal from our programs and displays, and so it is good to know that we are educating the community as well.”


Tylar Woods portrays Atlanta’s first female mayor Shirley Franklin at the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.

In the wax museum, students took on the persona of individuals such as Louis Latimer (scientist, inventor), Hosea Williams (civil rights leader), Andrew Young (former Atlanta mayor and Secretary to the United Nations), Sarah Boone (inventor of the ironing board), Mary McCloud Bethune (educator, stateswoman and civil rights leader) and Sojourner Truth (abolitionist and women’s rights advocate). Visitors pressed a “button” located on the hand of the statues/students, which caused them to move and quote interesting facts about the characters they were portraying.

The top winner/performer in the wax museum was Jade Evans for her portrayal of Sarah Boone. Other students receiving awards for their portrayals were Kayla Sanders as Mary McCloud Bethune, Serena Booker as Serena Williams, Christian Murray as Andrew Young, Kevin Rose at Hosea Williams, and Jayla Graham as Sojourner Truth.


Zaire Parris portrays brilliant scientist and inventor Louis Latimer at the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.

Additionally, Continental Colony is continuing its annual tradition of decorating its entire foyer with homages to African American history.

Here are several other Black History Month celebrations occurring throughout Atlanta Public Schools (in chronological order):

Forrest Hill Academy | February 1-28
Students are filming a documentary titled “What Black History Means to Me.”

Grady High School | February 1-28
Teachers are incorporating African-American history facts throughout the curriculum, and a date for the annual Black history play is being developed.

Morningside Elementary School | February 1-28
Reading quotes or brief bios on morning announcements and on the school’s daily message board; Kindergarten does a unit of study on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and creates hallway bulletin boards in his honor; Kindergarten and first-grade students are being taught a song about Dr. King and will read “Martin’s Big Words”; Books related to African-American history and heroes are on display in the media center; Fifth graders will analyze quotes by Dr. King as an ELA assignment.

South Atlanta High School | February 1-28
Black history facts are broadcasted over the public address system during the day.

Morris Brandon Elementary School  | February 3-28
First Street: Students are invited to research an African American who was the “first” African American to achieve a specific accomplishment. The student will create a poster detailing the individual and his/her accomplishment. The posters will be on display in the school’s “First Street” exhibit.

Mary Lin Elementary School/Inman Middle School | February 11
Psi Phi Beta Step Team performs at the monthly “SPARK Saturday” at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. This month’s “SPARK Saturday” event teaches youth about African American culture through rhythm and movement, and illustrates how today’s music and dance movements are inspired by African traditions.

Whitefoord Elementary School | February 16
(Grades 3-5) Guest speaker Nettie Washington-Douglass, great, great granddaughter of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass.

Young Middle School | February 20-24
“Celebrating Black History in Atlanta”: A series of performances and guest speakers throughout the week.

Bunche Middle School | February 23
“Sankofa – Go Back and Get It.” Performing arts performances featuring dance, drama and chorus.

Long Middle School | February 23
“Remember the Times”: Thematic, living timeline created by students, highlighting moments in African-American history.

Benteen Elementary School | February 24
Essay competition and family movie night.

Brown Middle School | February 24
“Sankofa”:The annual Black History Program (sankofa translates to “recovering or retrieving the past”).

Scott Elementary School | February 24
“Lift Every Voice”: The annual performing arts program for Pre-K through fifth grade.

Whitefoord Elementary School | February 24
Black History Bowl

Continental Colony Elementary School | February 28
Pantherville Poetry Café.

Hope Hill Elementary School | February 28
Annual Black History program.

West Manor Elementary School| February 28
Annual African-American history program.

Whitefoord Elementary School| February 28
Black History Performing Arts Program.









February 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

APS Celebrates Black History Month

Black History Month remains an important time to honor the heritage of African-Americans; and APS has some significant connections with the civil rights movement. Atlanta Public Schools has had many famous students, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lena Horne, Mayor Maynard Jackson, Nipsey Russell and others.

The district’s Museum Curator, Cathy Loving, sat down with us to give us a small glimpse into some of the connections that APS has with the civil rights movement in this video.

Cathy LovingClick image to view video

February 11, 2016 at 10:14 am Leave a comment

“The Boycott” performed at South Atlanta High School

IMG_2772IMG_2823The South Atlanta High School hosted a performance of the play “The Boycott” on February 28, 2013. The cast numbered over thirty actors, actresses, singers and dancers and the play highlighted events surrounding the bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement.

“The Boycott” intermixed personal and group dynamics along with music, dance and monologues to illustrate the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama. The campaign lasted from December 1, 1955 to December 20, 1956, when a federal ruling took effect and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional.

“The Boycott” is an intergenerational play featuring the students of South Atlanta High School, the Harriet Daniel Senior Center Dancing Divas and other members of the community. South Atlanta Drama Instructor Tia Cowart and South Atlanta High extend a special thanks to Ms. Gwen Hubbard and Ms. Joyce Lewis for bringing this project to South Atlanta High School!


March 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm Leave a comment

Living Legend Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian among speakers at Parks College and Career Day

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Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian with Parks Middle Scholars.

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Special Education Lead Teacher Kamau Mason, student Kevin Griffin, Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian and Media Specialist Yashica Green.

February 1st marked the first day of Black History Month.  A bit of history also occurred at College and Career Day at W. L. Parks Middle School.  The College and Career Day focused on exposing students to the many post-secondary opportunities available to them and how critical it is to prepare for these opportunities now.  Over 30 College and Career Day participants shared their enthusiasm, dedication and expertise from their trade school, alma mater or career.  This year, we were privileged to have individuals representing various colleges and technical schools, as well as a living legend in the person of Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian. Dr. Vivian is known as one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s closest friends and faithful lieutenants during the Civil Rights Movement.  He shared his stories of discrimination, racism as well as stories of determination and triumph. His soft voice but strong spirit engaged our students from beginning to end. It was indeed a joy to have Dr. Vivian grace us with his presence.

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Mr. Charles King, IT Consultant, Florida A & M Alumnus and President of the Atlanta Alumni Chapter for FAMU.

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Mechelle Matthews with the Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers, Atlanta.

Students also had the opportunity to meet Mr. Wilkerson from The Georgia Driving Academy.  As a senior instructor for the GDA, Mr. Wilkerson brought an actual truck cab to Parks which hitches to 18 wheeler trucks. Students were able to make real world connections while he demonstrated what he discussed.

Mr. Charles King, an IT Consultant and businessman, was another dynamic presenter who spoke with passion and excitement about his profession and alma mater, Florida A & M University. Mr. King was able to capture our students by expressing the critical need for innovative and out of the box thinkers who also meet minimum requirements and training to be tomorrow’s trendsetters. His passion was evident and contagious.

Parks MS had a dynamic and informative College and Career Day that truly was an eye-opening and impressionable experience for our students. We are grateful for all our participants and know that their presentations have sparked our students towards greatness and success.

written by Latarsha Mills-McKie Ed.S Guidance Counselor, Parks Middle School  

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Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian imparts life lessons and wisdom to Parks Scholars.

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Mr. Vann Wilkerson from the Georgia Driving Academy.

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Mr. Jackie Miller, Southwest Representative for Milo’s Sweet Tea.

February 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Black History Month activities at Scott Elementary increase students’ enthusiasm and knowledge

Can you name the first African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize?  While many would incorrectly answer, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” students at Scott Elementary School know that Ralph Bunche won the award in 1950—14 years before King—making him the first African American recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Responding to daily African American history trivia is just one way the students at Scott are celebrating Black History Month.  Every day during the morning announcements, students listen as the black history trivia question of the day is presented. Leadership Support Specialist, Malvina Hadley, is coordinating Scott’s Black History Month events.  She says seeing the students’ increased participation and enthusiasm for the trivia piece has been very refreshing. 

“It’s been a big hit,” said Hadley.  “After they hear the questions, they race to their classroom computers to look up the correct answers, and they can’t wait to put their answers in the answer box on the way from lunch. We’re seeing more and more participation every day.”

Trivia question winners receive school currency know as Scott Bucks, which they can use to purchase items from the school store.  Scott Bucks are part of the school’s behavior modification program, and are generally issued as a reward for good behavior. 

In addition to the trivia challenges, students have celebrated Black History Month by creating an African American Quilt; decorating school walls with Footprints in Time—paper footprints with the names and contributions of students’ favorite African Americans written on them; and a special luncheon featuring traditional African American foods on the menu. 

Students lined walls around Scott with "Footprints in Time."

The big event, however, was the school’s culminating activity, the Black History Month program.  Students showed off their talent and black history knowledge as they performed in front of their peers, teachers and administrators.  The program included African dancers, spoken word poetry by “The Langston Hughes Poets,” a presentation by Scott’s Tuskegee Airmen, a tribute to Whitney Houston and interviews with the Little Rock Nine, courtesy of Scott Elementary’s “channel seven nightly news.”

 Scott’s interim principal, Jimmye Hawkins, says she is very pleased with the level of participation from the students and the staff at Scott.  She thought it was very important to put the right amount of time and energy into Black History Month, because she wanted students to learn about their history, and more importantly she wanted students to know about the everyday people who served as trail blazers. 

“I really want them to understand that it’s not about the flash and dash—it’s not just about the athletes and celebrities you see on TV,” Hawkins said.  It’s about real, everyday people who worked hard and sacrificed to open doors for African Americans today.”


Program host, Jacory Ellison


"The Langston Hughes Poets"

Scott students as the Tuskegee Airmen

February 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm 1 comment

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