Students at Bala Cynwyd Middle School are engaging in numerous activities during Black History Month and throughout this year as part of a school-wide effort to embed cultural proficiency as a way of life.
All students will view and discuss "A Time for Justice." This film by Charles Guggenheim, narrated by Julian Bond and featuring John Lewis, captures the spirit of the Civil Rights movement through historical footage and the voices of those who participated in historical events including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, school desegregation efforts in Little Rock and the 1965 Voting Rights March.
Sixth and seventh graders will see an assembly presented by the Walnut Street Theatre about the Freedom Riders as part of a larger discussion of character traits.
Eighth grade students are creating portraits modeled on the style of Kehinde Wiley, a contemporary artist from South Central Los Angeles, who now lives in New York. Wiley creates portraits of urban African American men in poses traditionally found in historical paintings.
Choir students in all grades are not only singing African American Spirituals, but are learning about how the spirituals were expressions of the hopes and prayers of people who were enslaved. They're also learning how spirituals led to many other forms of musical expression -- from jazz to hip-hop to Broadway.