2020 Black History Month School Celebrations and Observances Continue Across OUSD

“If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors”
– African Proverb

Oakland – In OUSD, we believe in celebrating and integrating our students’ and community’s cultural and linguistic assets every day. Throughout the month of February, as part of our long-standing commitment to honoring African American excellence during Black History Month and year-round, we are shining a light on the achievements of Black educators, activists, writers, scholars, athletes and students with ties to Oakland. We invite you to learn and teach others empowering narratives of our African American students and families. Come celebrate with us at various school based and community events. Here is a list of some of the events happening at schools across our District.
District-wide:– 41st Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Fest. Finals at noon on Sunday, February 23, Skyline High School, 12250 Skyline Blvd. HBO airs a documentary about the Oratorical Fest called, “We Are The Dream, The Kids of of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest.” It premieres on HBO on Tuesday, February 18 at 7:00 p.m. HBO will also send OUSD a link so everyone can watch it online, even if you don’t have the pay channel. We will forward it to the entire District.

Manzanita SEED:
● February 13th at 5pm: Family Literacy Night with book giveaway and performances celebrating African and African American culture.

Lincoln Elementary:
For the entire month of February, staff and families at Lincoln are organizing to lead: 
● African American poem per day during morning announcements
● African American history trivia led by students at lunch (bulletin boards have clues)
● Lessons in all classrooms

● Mondays in February: Guest speaker on Ethiopian experience in classrooms on a rotating weekly Monday schedule, with Ethiopian dance at lunch
● February 27th: Gold Ribbon Award Celebration featuring Diversity and Inclusion messaging, and MLK Oratorical Fest performances by Lincoln student finalists 

Dates to be announced: ● Tribute to Kobe Bryant during lunch
● School wide assembly featuring Civil Rights activity and author Geraldine Hollis of the Tougaloo 9 

Cleveland Elementary:
● February 21st: African American Heritage, school wide celebration, time TBA

Bridges Academy at Melrose:

● February 27th: Black History Writing Fair, 9am-11am, showcasing student writing and reflections on Black History
Piedmont Avenue Elementary:
February 27th, 9:15am and 6pm: African Dance Performances by Students. Our students have been taking African Dance classes twice a week taught by Master Drummer and Dancer, Pope Flynn. Pope has been teaching African Dance at Piedmont Avenue for 32 years.He is now teaching students who are children of his former students.This year, the teachers will also do a surprise African Dance performance for the students. 

West Oakland Middle School:

● February 26th, 9:15am: Annual Black History Month concert
● March 4th, 8:45am: 2nd Annual Black History Exhibition

Oakland Tech:
● February 21st, 7pm: Annual Black History Month Concert, “Black to the Future.” Entire OUSD community is welcome to join!
###About the Oakland Unified School DistrictIn California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 83 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success. 

To learn more about OUSD’s Full Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit OUSD.org and follow us @OUSDnews.
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