SAISD YOUTH, SICK AND STUNNED, AT AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY

Hello SAISD Parents,

 

I have some great news about our Sam Houston Academic Decathlon team.  Once again, they received 1st place in the Texas Region Xl 2020 meet.

 

Academic Decathlon Team, Sam Houston High School, San Antonio ISD 

 

 

I would also like to recognize some other outstanding Sam Houston students. The first is our 2020 Class Valedictorian Payton L. Gogo along with our Salutatorian Cinaa L. Henderson. These are just a few of our successful students that are creating a pathway for future Hurricanes. All of these students are proof that our Eastside Community is changing the way others see us by proving that if any student works hard and studies that they too can rise above all.

 

 

Now let's talk about this month's question that we're asking people within our community, which is Why do you celebrate Black History month? I thought that it would be a great idea to ask some of our students. So, this week, I gathered a few students and parents and approached this question differently. I showed them a short film that KLRN aired this past week about African American History. The short film told three different stories, the first taking place in China, where workers make cast iron banks that are called "Jolly Negro Bank." The second was about a white couple that sells Civil War, KKK and other stuff at a flea market to make money. The last one was about a young black woman that is an artist and paints about the era when whites were painting their faces black and doing short films or plays to disgrace the African American people. After they watched this film, I asked what they thought about the people in China that make these banks, and most said it's hurtful and is wrong. Then we went over the older white couple that sells items that are associated with the Confederate War, Civil War, along with KKK, all of which are just a constant reminder of a horrible time in American History. But my questions were,  how do feel about looking at these items and how does it make you feel?

 

All of the students had a different answer, but one said, "I hate it because some of my family went through these times, and after seeing that people collect this stuff, it made me sick.” 

 

Lastly, we talked about the artist that painted herself in black paint, but keep in mind she is African American, which totally blew these students minds. When we talked about this artist, the first question they asked was, why would she do this, and isn't it a disgrace to African Americans?  My answer was yes this could be seen as a disgrace, but the artist said she does this too draw attention to the whites that painted their faces black. My last question was , “What if I was teaching this in your classroom today how do you think other students would react?” As they all sat in a circle to discuss this question they each gave their opinion. It took about twenty minutes, but they finally came to me and said that they feel that other students in their classes would react as they did with anger and confusion. The one answer that stayed with me was the fact that they said it would cause more fights and violence.

 

Now the question is, how do we approach or teach these students about African American History? I believe that this is a subject that we must all study, but I also think that we must gather more students, parents, teachers, and community members to ask for their help on how we should teach this class? Parents, let me know how you feel this class should be taught, and at what grade level should we start this class?

 

Please email me at lena.lopez@saobsever.com

 

Have a Blessed Week, Lena Lopez

 

 

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