Being the Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies (AMIS), the standard historical figures most students learn about in class, wouldn’t be accurate to the schools’ representation.
Rosa Burke, seventh and eighth-grade Spanish and science teacher at AMIS, wanted to show her students how African-American and Latino communities are more alike than some may think.
“I had the epiphany since knowing that the majority of our school’s representation is Hispanic and African-American I wanted to do something to show how we are more similar than different,” said Burke.
Burke explained it was important to have the students do the research and see just how many famous Afro-Latino figures are making an impact on the world. The class picked any celebrity that spoke to them to research and present to the class.
“We’ve had a wide range of celebrities and athletes the students presented ranging from Pelé to Gina Torres,” Burke said. “Students were picking celebrities you’d never even heard of or knew were Afro-Latino.”
Students began researching their figures Jan. 3 and had to incorporate video and a PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate their knowledge to the rest of the class. Some students even took to the theaters as part of their research.
“I chose Zoe Saldana and I really enjoyed researching her,” said Adrienne Cartier, seventh grade at AMIS. “I chose her because I really liked her movies and I just thought it would be nice to do someone who knew my culture and see how she became famous.”
Burke said the project was a big hit and would be returning next year.