DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Through the entire month of February, the students at Emerson Academy have been studying Black History Month through immersive and interactive activities
“If kids can see i, then they can dream it, and they can achieve it,” said Dr. Landon Brown, principal for Emerson Academy. “Studying everyone’s history is important because we all have a story to tell.
Dr. Brown says he’s been working to share the stories of historical Black figures after the protests for racial justice this summer.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty going on right now in the country and with things that have happened in recent events, I think it’s important for us to express how we are all in this together and what makes America truly great is our diversity and inclusion,” he said.
Students first took part in Dress for Success Day, where students could dress like professionals or an important figure in black history. Other students were given the option to wear a black T-shirt to represent unity during Black History Month.
On another day, members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, which is a traditionally Black fraternity, read stories centering black history figures to students.
Dr. Brown says many of the activities have been done virtually, safely and in a way that includes students, teachers and parents.
This week, the students will present their virtual performance to parents and family. There will be dance, poems and other performative presentations about Black History. Later, the students will compete for a prize by presenting a decorated door that best represents one of the Historically Black Colleges of Universities (HBCU) in the country.
In the region there are already two HBCU’s, Central State University and Wilberforce University. Dr. Brown says he hopes by exposing the students to these schools and educating on their history, he can encourage them to one day attend in the future.
Dr. Brown also says that studying the past can help set up the students for a brighter tomorrow.
“The struggles that African-Americans have had to endure in American history, it goes back [to show] that we still want the same things. It’s centered around excellence and the American dream. So although the focus is on African-Americans who have made contributions to our great country, the focus really centers on all of us because we all need to be resilient we all need to showcase courage in order to move forward,” said Dr. Brown.