Greetings Hawken Community:
We wanted to pause and take a moment to acknowledge Black History Month, founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a historian, professor, and Dean at Howard University and the second African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. In 1926, this tradition began as a week-long celebration during the second week in February, before becoming a month-long recognition in 1976. It was Dr. Woodson’s intention to encourage the telling, documenting, and honoring of the Black individual’s story; he understood the importance of a people knowing themselves and their origin stories and in sharing those stories. Across the school, people are honoring the history of Black people in the United States through storytelling and celebration, as we recommit to meaningful action.
Here are a few examples to highlight:
- The Upper School Black Student Union has created a series of four videos and advisory discussions that trace through lines from Reconstruction to current events, celebrate Black excellence, and invite discussion about the many ways African American people continue to help build our nation.
- The Middle School will continue examining issues of social justice in film and engage in reflective activities as a continuation of the MLK Celebration and year-long advisory theme on difference.
- The Lower School will hold an all-community assembly to learn more about important Black social justice leaders.
In the wake of the racial injustice and inequities we have witnessed in the last year and in recent months, it is that much more important we take intentional time to honor what makes each identity unique and hear Black voices. We hope this note encourages you to celebrate, learn, and move forward together with truth, dignity, and action.
P.S. Check out these virtual events to learn more offered by the Smithsonian