Black History Month Celebrations Throughout February
The Academy community celebrated Black History Month through a wide range of activities both inside and outside of the classroom.
The end of the month culminated in an all-school assembly with two special guests providing information and perspectives. Additionally, St. Martin de Porres and Academy students shared their beautiful vocal talents.
In classrooms, students learned about the various facets of Black history. A couple of examples include Theology and Physical Education. Theology classes highlighted Black American Saints at the beginning of each week through participation in prayers and meditations from black liturgies, as well as theological reflections of the poems and art of the African American experience. Students in Physical Education discussed the movie, “42” - the story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player allowed to play in the Major League, and the mental health and self-esteem issues one might deal with as a result of this type of accomplishment.
Riley Mills ’25 worked with Assistant Principal of Student Success Mrs. Adriane Hicks to create various student engagement activities including a "Black Her-Story" assembly. The event brought the Saint Joseph Academy community together to learn from Saint Martin DePorres High School African American History Teacher/Social Worker Mrs. Gwen Howard. Ms. Howard shared the background on Black History Month and why it was important to celebrate it. The community also heard from 2019 SJA "25 Under 35" honoree and Emmy Award-winning Anchor/Reporter for Fox 8 News, Ms. Jazmin Bailey '07. She expressed gratitude for the lessons she learned at her alma mater and shared her experience as a young black woman both as a student at the Academy and throughout her college and professional career
Both assembly speakers' wise words were educational and inspiring, as we strive to remember the importance of Black history beyond just the month. The Academy Center was also enlivened by the Saint Martin DePorres Choir, led by CORE Minister and Choir Director Vickey McBride and the Academy’s own Francetta Dweh ’25 who sang “Rise Up” to close the event.