Celebrating Black History Month with a Joyful Challenge


In honor of Black History Month. Flint Hill’s Lower School dedicated a Morning Meeting to the positive legacies of Black Americans. Director of Institutional Equity and Inclusion Mia Burton and Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Miles Henderson presented the students with a challenge to look at a series of illustrations by Vashti Harrison of influential Black Americans and to identify and research the lives of the real people who were illustrated.

Burton described the challenge: "This year we focused on connecting to the celebratory and joyful connections to Black History Month. The challenge was inquiry-based to provide students the opportunity to ask questions, research and find “the why” of each person’s contribution to American history and culture. By using pictures from children’s books, I created it in a format that would be engaging for our Ks and first graders and enlightening for our older grade levels."

Using resources from their classroom libraries, students matched the illustrations to photographs they found in books. Students in KB were inspired by what they read about Ella Fitzgerald, discussed her many talents and accomplishments, and identified what makes her a significant historical figure. They even listened to her music during their quiet time. Second graders took the challenge as an opportunity to strengthen their independent research skills — looking up resources and writing about the famous Black Americans they identified from the illustrations. Across all the grade levels, curiosity, creativity and collaboration were ubiquitous, as students contemplated the impact and importance of the figures in our history.