LMSD schools will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of educational and enrichment activities throughout February. African-American history is part of the year-long curriculum at all levels, but teachers and students will take extra time throughout the month for further exploration of significant historical figures and events. Displays throughout the schools will feature art, literature and general information reinforcing curricular programs while a variety of assemblies, programs and classroom-specific activities will emphasize the history and significance of African-Americans throughout history.
Throughout the month, we will share stories, events and programs celebrating Black History Month from all ten of our schools below. Click the respective links below to see what's happening at your school and be sure to check back here as we continue to aggregate content throughout February!
- Harriton High School
- Bala Cynwyd Middle School
- Welsh Valley Middle School
- Belmont Hills Elementary School
- Cynwyd Elementary School
- Gladwyne Elementary School
- Merion Elementary School
- Penn Valley Elementary School
- Penn Wynne Elementary School
When Carter G. Woodson established this tradition with a dedicated week back in 1926, he was aware of how important it would be to provide a theme to focus the attention of the public. The goal behind the theme is not to dictate or inhibit the exploration of African-American history or experience, but to highlight significant developments that warrant emphasis. This year's theme is "African-Americans and the Vote."
Background Information from the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History: The year 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women's suffrage movement. The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War. The theme speaks, therefore, to the ongoing struggle on the part of both black men and black women for the right to vote. This theme has a rich and long history, which begins at the turn of the nineteenth century, i.e., in the era of the Early Republic, with the states' passage of laws that democratized the vote for white men while disfranchising free black men. Thus, even before the Civil War, black men petitioned their legislatures and the US Congress, seeking to be recognized as voters. Tensions between abolitionists and women's suffragists first surfaced in the aftermath of the Civil War, while black disfranchisement laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries undermined the guarantees in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments for the great majority of southern blacks until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The important contribution of black suffragists occurred not only within the larger women's movement, but within the larger black voting rights movement. Through voting-rights campaigns and legal suits from the turn of the twentieth century to the mid-1960s, African Americans made their voices heard as to the importance of the vote. Indeed the fight for black voting rights continues in the courts today. The theme of the vote should also include the rise of black elected and appointed officials at the local and national levels, campaigns for equal rights legislation, as well as the role of blacks in traditional and alternative political parties.
LMSD's Strategic Plan, "All Forward," provides a framework for a collective, intentional and positive approach to change. Its five aspirational pathways guide us toward continual innovation and transformation to further educational excellence for every student. This trip serves as an example of Strategic Pathway #2: Transformative Curriculum. To learn more about #LMSDAllForward and the Strategic Pathways, click here.
*Banner Image Artwork Credits: Booker T. Washington - Randall Huiskens; Rosa Parks - Wayne Pascal; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Paul Daniels; Frederick Douglass - Erick Garcia; Kobe Bryant - Andres Ramos; Maya Angelou - Fabrizio Ruggiero; Michelle Obama - Sourav Aich; Harriet Tubman - Women's History.