Proud to be one of the most diverse and inclusive school communities in Chicago, we celebrated Black history and culture in February with a month of lessons and activities

“Black history is American history,” Head of School Mercedes Z. Sheppard said. “We are in the fabric and backbone of every aspect of American culture. Our struggles and triumphs have influenced every area of American history, from music and literature to education and politics.

“One of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou, said it best: ‘Won’t it be wonderful when Black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one books? Just U.S. history.’

“I am proud and excited to be a part of a community that strives to celebrate our history every day of the year.”

Throughout the school, students of all ages tackled research projects about Black history, creating presentations and/or artwork to share the stories with their classmates, including:

  • third grade’s “Jeopardy!” trivia game and Black history and culture fair, featuring projects and presentations from influential figures in the worlds of music, sports, hair care, food, Black sororities and fraternities, and more;
  • fifth grade’s presentations on the Black history of Chicago’s South Side;
  • seventh grade drawing portraits for a Black History Month wall of fame;
  • eighth-grade art students creating portraits of historical figures, inspired by artist Kerry Jams Marshall;
  • students throughout Middle School doing research projects in science class on Black people in STEM fields; and
  • Upper School Arts Council conducting a month-long Instagram series about Black inventors, politicians, musicians, activists, and artists, culminating with a trivia game among Upper School students.

In the arts:

  • kindergartners learned about and practiced the techniques of Black artists Christian Robinson and the late Alma Woodsey Thomas;
  • first-graders in music class learned “Free at Last” and “Follow the Drinking Gourd;” and
  • fourth-graders learned about Kente cloth and designed their own patterns.