ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Allie Ward Elementary is highlighting Black History Month by discussing the accomplishments numerous African Americans have made throughout history.
A group of fourth-grade students completed reports on individuals that have impacted not only black history but American history.
Lining the fourth grade hallway at Allie Ward Elementary are a few familiar names and faces, like Harriet Tubman and Phyllis Wheatley, but also, other names you may not have heard, like Marian Anderson or Ronald McNair.
Introducing more contemporary and/or obscure names within black history can allow students like Karter Rosenquist to explore other parts of history as well.
"Pretty much learned about the Challenger disaster, and I've never even heard of Ronald McNair, but the teacher assigned it to me, and I've learned a lot of amazing stuff about him," Karter says.
Social Studies teacher Christina Mitchell says as students learn about black history they get a broader picture of American history.
"We get so tied up in what's in the book, like Washington, Lincoln, or Martin Luther King, that they don't really personalize it and figure out that these are just everyday people who wanted to do everyday things and achieve the dreams for their personal life," Mitchell says.
Another part of the curriculum is learning about past discrimination and hate.
Mitchell says the response from students about the topic gives her hope for the future.
"'What is wrong with these people? Why would they think like this?' And I said, 'That's what I love about your generation. Your generation can't imagine people not being together,'" Mitchell says.
Perhaps fourth grader Cambreigh Wilson sums it up best.
"It doesn't matter what color skin tone you are or it doesn't matter how you speak or how you act. It's that you're still human, and we should all be treated the same."
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