Celebrating Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, Chappaqua students celebrated Black History Month throughout the District. This month is one of the many celebrations for the District to work toward our goal of equitable, affirming, and culturally responsive environments.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) highlights the symbolic value of the month:

“The history of the United States is certainly taught and conveyed all year long, but its greatest symbolic celebration occurs on one-day, the Fourth of July.  Black History Month, too, is a powerful symbolic celebration. And symbols always stand for something bigger -- in our case, the important role of Black History in pursuit of racial justice and equality.”

While Black history is taught in our curricula and schools throughout the year, you will find a few of the events celebrating and recognizing Black History Month in Chapapqua’s schools below.

Thanks to the PTA, elementary students in grades 2-4 had a special Black History Month assembly -- Black Women of the American Songbook -- featuring the performance duo Carla Lynne Hall & Jim Keyes. This musical program mixed live performances and storytelling associated with famous African-American ladies of jazz, including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaugh, and Dinah Washington, who all overcame personal challenges to become successful.

At the middle school level, Seven Bridges students explored Black history through music. With “Jazz for Young People,” students were introduced to major artists such as Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Ked Ory, Johnny Dodds, Didney Bechet, and Louis Armstrong. Each lesson included body percussion/classroom instruments. At Bell, students participated in choice boards to learn about Black history, exploring creators, entertainers, activism, reading lists, and more. (continued below)

At the high school, social studies classes embraced the ASALH theme of “Black Resistance” in their curriculum and standards. In Global 9, students explored the history of African kingdoms and empires. 10th Grade students learned about the African independence and nationalism movements. In the upper grades, students explore topics aligned to the course content such as reconstruction, 1920’s Harlem music and art, Black entrepreneurs, civil rights cases, and more.

Outside of the classroom, Greeley’s BiPOC Student Union kicked off Black History month with a trivia table during lunch periods to learn about innovative Black leaders and changemakers. They will also be hosting a movie series working with the Association of Asian American and Pacific Islanders and Alliance clubs. Alliance. The first film in the movie series will be Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This film introduces Miles Morales a bi-racial character who takes on the mantle of Spider-Man.