WAPS, DEC honor Black History Month

Honoring Black History Month

Winona Area Public Schools and its Diversity and Equity Committee would like to honor Black History Month through sharing the stories of prominent Black leaders, movements and experiences so we may reflect on how far we have come and acknowledge the lengths we still have to go to ensure racial equity and acceptance in our country.

This post will be updated on a weekly basis with additional videos and resources.

Tulsa Race Massacre

Video shared by THIRTEEN explaining the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, resulting in the destruction of a Black district known as Greenwood, fueled by the rumor that a Black man whistled at a white woman in an elevator. "In the early 1900s, Greenwood was home to a thriving, independent "Black Wall Street" until the violence of the Tulsa Race Riots changed the community's legacy forever." The destruction of Black economic success and thriving Black communities were embedded into racially discriminatory laws and policies with its impacts are still present today.

James Baldwin on 'The Dick Cavett Show'

This is a clip from "I Am Not Your Negro." James Baldwin is responding to a philosophy professor on a 1968 episode of "The Dick Cavett Show" on why there needs to be an emphasis on race (Netflix Film Club). Baldwin was a Black American writer, poet, playwright, and activist with profound perspectives on race and sexuality. He moved to Paris in 1948 to flee the violent racism in America, returning in 1957 to become an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement (Britannica). He wrote famous pieces such as "Go Tell It on the Mountain," "Giovanni's Room," and "Notes of a Native Son." He passed away in France in the late 1980s but is still revered as one of the most prolific Black writers of all time.

Marvel Jackson Cooke

Marvel Jackson Cooke was a pioneering journalist and political activist who was often the only female African American among her counterparts. She was the first African American child to be born in the city of Mankato, and she was one of five Black students to graduate from the University of Minnesota in 1925.

This short video is from the Minnesota Historical Society's Black History, Black Voices virtual exhibit. See more here.

Angela Davis 

In this short video, historian Kelly Elaine Navies of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture speaks with Kemi, a student, about an academic, philosopher, and Civil Rights activist Angela Davis. Charged with murder in 1970 but later acquitted, Davis spent her time in and out of jail working to radically change the prison system and end its continued oppression over Black Americans.

Other resources