The Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize Black History Month at Norwalk Public Schools. Throughout the month, members of our community, schools, educators and students are encouraged to honor the accomplishments of Black Americans and their substantial roles throughout history.
In the 1920’s historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the organization he founded, raised awareness of the contributions of Black Americans. The celebration was held in February to coincide with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The observance was expanded in 1976 to a month-long-celebration as part of the nation’s bicentennial. Since then, every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
This year’s national Black History Month theme focuses on the importance of health and wellness. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths and herbalists. Additionally, the theme seeks to highlight wellness initiatives to build hospitals, medical and nursing schools and community clinics.
Every year, NPS classrooms across the district highlight Black History Month by learning about historical figures, inventors, educators and civil rights leaders. Educators highlight books written by Black American authors and poets, and incorporate videos and other resources into everyday lessons. Students discuss subjects such as school integration and civil rights, Landmark legal decisions, and the role of Black Americans in military history.
Jan. 17 marked the 27th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was established to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, and to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities with a day of service.
NPS students across the district honored Dr. King’s messages on fairness, justice, tolerance and equality through discussions and celebrations of his ability to inspire action and bring about change. For example, each year, West Rocks Middle School students complete various tasks in their social studies classes culminating in an all-school day of recognition. This year, students shared their experiences with a video put together by the broadcast journalism class. Musical selections from the West Rocks chorus, orchestra, and jazz band were also a part of the program.
By declaring February Black History month and by recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Board of Education encourages all schools to share in activities and celebrations honoring generations of Black Americans who have positively influenced our community and country.