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A Renaissance of Black History Knowledge and Fun!

You could be forgiven for thinking you had traveled back in time 100 years if you stepped into Westwood School on February 22, 2024. For its annual Black History Month celebration, the school transformed into a complete showcase for the Harlem Renaissance Era, donning decorations, informational walls, and even costumes to celebrate this rich era of American history. 

Student as Harlem Globe TrotterAs part of the event, students immersed themselves in the lives and legacies of key figures from the Harlem Renaissance, including the renowned author Zora Neale Hurston and the iconic basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters. Through a unique wax museum setup, attendees could interact with these historical figures by pushing buttons to hear students deliver speeches about their lives and accomplishments.

Complementing the wax museum, Westwood School embraced the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance through a school-wide door decorating competition. Each classroom door became a canvas, adorned with vibrant artwork and poignant messages celebrating Black culture and heritage.

Jay Bailey, music teacher and coordinator of the celebration, highlighted the importance of exploring lesser-known facets of Black history. 

"A lot of people focus on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but I wanted students to understand that black history has deeper roots than the information everybody knows about," said Bailey. "A lot of musicians and artists from today still have their roots in what these pioneers were doing at that time, so it's important for these kids to see that connection and learn something new."

By immersing themselves in the rich tapestry of the past, Westwood School students gained a deeper understanding of the enduring legacy of African American contributions to art, literature, and social progress.