Windward Hosts Three Black History Month Community Meetings

In the month of February, each division of The Windward School held a Black History Month Community Meeting for all students. Meetings were hosted by Coordinator of Diversity Ms. Moloney, Manhattan Lower School Campus Diversity Advisor Ms. Ngo, Westchester Lower School Campus Diversity Advisor Ms. Jimenez, Westchester Middle School Campus Diversity Advisor Ms. Ehrlich, and Manhattan Middle School Teachers Ms. Hinchman and Ms. Obimba. 

In these meetings, students learned about the history of Black History Month and why it is celebrated in February each year. The presentations detailed how Dr. Carter G. Woodson established a week-long celebration of Black history in 1926. He selected the second week of February to recognize Black history as it aligned with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two individuals who were crucial in the abolition of enslavement. Black History Month became official in 1976 after Kent State college students advocated for this change. 

In eighth grade language arts classes, students are assigned to write a compare and contrast essay about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, so some eighth graders explained how their papers discussed the civil rights approaches of both figures. Manhattan Middle School students learned about inspirational Black leaders and their notable contributions to United States history, such as Benjamin Banneker and Ona Judge. The Westchester Middle School presentation highlighted Black role models such as singer Ella Fitzgerald, athletes Lebron James and Serena Williams, and inventor of the GIF, Lisa Gelobter. 

Finally, the community meetings highlighted how Black history should be celebrated each day, even after Black History Month has ended, by: 

  • Supporting local Black-owned businesses 

  • Reading books by Black authors 

  • Staying informed 

  • Being an upstander 

  • Asking questions of trusted grown-ups