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Posted: February 12, 2019

These Teachers Have Taken Door-Decorating to New Levels for Black History Month


By Char Adams

People

With Black History Month in full swing, teachers across the country are going all out for their classroom door displays to honor Black culture and heritage.

As Black History Month is a time to honor the accomplishments, legacies, and impact of Black people throughout history, it’s also a time to cherish the Black culture and leaders of today. With that in mind, several teachers have pulled out all the stops to make sure their classes are observing the month-long holiday from the moment their students approach the door.

Here are just a few of the creative displays:

Hollie Tibbs of P.S. 231 in Brooklyn, New York

Tibbs fashioned her classroom door as a Black woman with a head full of curly hair. With several ringlets made from black construction paper, the woman even appeared to wear a vibrant head wrap. At the bottom of the door, Tibbs included a collage of famous Black Americans throughout history.

“I wanted to create a door that represented the African American women that work in the class with me,” Tibbs tells PEOPLE. “I work with children with disabilities so the door needed to be a visual statement for them as a presentation of who they are as well.”

Glen Mourning of Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

The fourth-grade teacher used his display to honor activist and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who started the #TakeAKnee movement to protest police brutality and racial injustices. The door appears to show the NFL player kneeling with black paper fashioned into an afro.

“The purpose was to shine a light on the most prominent members of our culture who were actively engaging in dialogue or bringing about real-life change concerning the wrongdoings that are still harming the community,” Mourning, author of the children’s book series Crunchy Life, tells PEOPLE.

“The fact is, kneeling done by Kaepernick and others was viewed by many as showing love and positivity in the form of peaceful protesting and exercising our rights … We need to keep the dialogue going!”

Chanique Davis of Lake Alfred Elementary in Lake Alfred, Florida

Davis, an art teacher, says she wanted to pay homage to the dreadlock hairstyle with her classroom door display. A photo of the art piece showed a woman with a crown in her hair.

“As many of the Black History Month doors created by teachers all over the nation are showing appreciation for the natural hair movement, I wanted to pay homage to the loc style,” Davis tells PEOPLE.

“Because this style is considered taboo in many professional and corporate settings I wanted to teach my students that diversity even in hairstyles should be accepted.”

Marcia Waller of Miller Fine Arts Magnet Middle School of Macon, Georgia

Waller used her door display to portray a young Black girl with two curly puffs in her hair and wearing a dashiki.

“Our culture is so rich with the accomplishments of African-Americans past and present,” Waller tells PEOPLE.

“I want my students to know where they come from. I want them to know their heritage and that the world is full of opportunities and possibilities.”

Anecia White of Harvest Preparatory School in Minneapolis, Minnesota

White says every student in her fourth-grade class is Black. So, she was sure to feature several prominent Black figures on her door under what appeared to be a Black woman with a full head of black hair.

“My source of inspiration for the door was every student in my classroom. They inspire me to be a better teacher every day, and I hope to inspire them to continue to learn about themselves,” White tells PEOPLE.

“I try to instill in my students that Black History should never be narrowed down to just one month within the year, but we should celebrate Black History year round. That is why I began decorating my door before Black History Month, and I plan to keep the door up well after this month is over.”


 
 

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