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IPS Celebrates Black History Month

Indianapolis Public Schools is excited to celebrate Black History Month! 

Throughout the district, classrooms are working on exciting and inspirational projects to honor and celebrate the importance of Black History Month. IPS will share these projects throughout the month, highlighting the students and their hard work. 

Follow IPS on social media to see what’s happing across the district during Black History Month. 

Black History Month Across the District

To celebrate Black History Month, student actors at Edison School of the Arts took to the stage!

Simon Youth Academy student scholars visited Newfields and were exposed, enlightened, and empowered by the We. The Culture exhibit and the other art exhibits. Being able to meet some of the XVIII artists, ask questions, see the various forms of art and expression, and then to create their own pieces of art was a fantastic experience for the students.

Students at George Buck School 94 toured informational displays throughout the school to learn about influential Black people in history.

The Indianapolis Colts hosted a book fair at school 58 to celebrate Black History Month. Blue, members of the Colts Cheerleaders and Colts staff were in attendance to help the students “shop” for books and read individually. Thanks to the Colts, each student was able to bring two books home!

“Even though we are in our 25th year, it feels as though we are just getting started,” Chester said.”

“Tucked away inside an old auxiliary gym at Crispus Attucks High School sits a treasure trove of years past.

Robert Chester, the curator of the Crispus Attucks Museum, helped bring the idea to life 25 years ago.

Keep reading here.

From Dr. Aleesia Johnson (@AleesiaLJohnson): Our @IPSSchools governance team, six of us who identify as Black, along with our local @AFSCME President Barnes, commemorated #BlackHistoryMonth this evening by dressing to pay tribute to our African roots. #wearehistory #proud #TeamIPS

Students at Arsenal Tech were tasked with not only choosing their own Black History research topic, but also determining how best to present their research. Students chose to present their project through slide presentations, websites, posters and other original ideas. Great job, Titans!

Students and staff at CFI 70 celebrated Black History Month with creative door decorations!

Families and staff gathered last night to celebrate African American Heritage Night at GWC 87! 🇿🇦🇨🇫

Student performances of singing and drumming were a highlight as well as the great pitch-in and local black owned businesses that set up tables.

Friday, February 3, students at Rousseau McClellan School 91 concluded the day with a peace march to celebrate Black History Month.

Rousseau McClellan School 91 students participating in a Black History Month project are integrating photography with history and learning how the past connects with their futures.

Under the direction of teacher Morgan Joyner, a sixth- grade class recreated famous photos of the Civil Rights Movement taken by Moneta Sleet Jr.

Sleet was an American press photographer best known for his photographs in Ebony magazine. In 1969 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his photograph of Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, at her husband’s funeral.

“My students know that I am also a wedding photographer in addition to being a teacher, and during the brainstorm of how we should honor Moneta Sleet Jr., someone suggested we recreate his photos,” said Joyner, who attended Rousseau McClellan as a youngster “Someone also asked if they could use my cameras.” Each student selected a photo of Sleet’s that they liked and planned how to recreate it by using props, costumes, and some of the school’s first grade students as their subjects.

“I showed the students how to use my cameras to take photos and then how to use the professional editing software to edit the photos,” she said. “The students use their smartphones every day and quickly learned how to use the editing software. In fact, they surprised themselves by how fantastic their photos turned out to be.”

Joyner believes her students will learn that they can make a difference in this world doing whatever it is they are most passionate about — whether it’s writing, math, science, technology, sports, music, activism, painting, photography, or anything else.

“They can take anything they are passionate about and use it to make a positive change — big or small,” she said. “One single photo that JET Magazine photographer, David Jackson, took of Emmett Till in his open casket in 1955 was a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. Especially now more than ever, I want my students to understand the power that they hold just by having access to a camera on their phone at any given moment.”

Joyner pointed out that if weren’t for Darnella Frazier, a 17-year-old girl who used her phone to capture the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020, those officers may have not been brought to justice.

She also noted that note Devin Allen, a present-day Black photographer, called photographers storytellers and light bringers.

Joyner said she tells her students they too are light bringers: “And without their contributions to this world — it will be a dark place.”