Black Lives Matter at School
TC PTA Board Members gather with Black Lives Matter at School chalk mural after our BLM at School + Lunar New Year Playdate, Feb 5, 2022
The Black Lives Matter at School movement first started in Seattle during the fall of 2016, when thousands of educators in Seattle came to school on October 19th wearing shirts that said, “Black Lives Matter: We Stand Together”. Hundreds of families and students did too. TC PTA continues to elevate the work of this movement for racial justice in education, and we invite our community to join us.
A year of Purpose
Join Thornton Creek PTA in support of:
1) September: Black to School (First Day of School)
2) October 14: Justice for George Day
3) November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance
4) December 3: International People’s with Disabilities Day
5) January: Queer Organizing Behind the Scenes
6) February 18: Unapologetically Black Day
7) March 6: Student Activist Day
8) April: Revolutionary Black Arts
9) May 3: Black Radical Educator Day
10) June 5: #SayHerName Day
11) June 19: Education for Liberation Day
12) Last Day of School: A Day for Self Reflection
Black to School
First Day of School: Black to School
Wear BLM at School shirt
Review the BLM at School reflection questions and write up your anti-racist action plan for the year
October 14th is George Floyd’s Birthday. Justice for George is a day to remember him and call for the defunding of the police and the redirecting of those funds towards social programs and education.
Globalism + Collective Value
December 3rd is International People’s with Disabilities Day. Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer are two disabled freedom fighters we revere, even as the disabilities they carried with them into struggle aren’t consistently lifted up as assets in their fight. To fight against societal ableism, we must celebrate our differences and understand how the lessons from Black disabled organizers teach us how to build inclusive, accessible movements.
During January, we find it critical to lift up Bayard Rustin, one of the principal organizers behind the March on Washington which is crowned as one of MLK’s lasting achievements. To be queer-affirming means lifting up our queer ancestors who were at the foundation of our movements throughout time. This deepens the purpose of MLK day to understand that no one person makes a movement, highlighting how MLK’s legacy encompasses the contributions of many.
February 18th marks the shared birthdays of two Black women writers, Toni Morrison (1931-2019) and Audre Lorde (1934-1992). Lorde, a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” dedicated her life and creative endeavors “to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, capitalism, heterosexism, and homophobia,” while Morrison is celebrated as a Nobel Prize winning author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality." In addition to her celebrated novels, Morrison also co-authored several children’s books with her youngest son, Slade Morrison. Here is an interview clip from 1993 where Toni Morrison speaks with PBS host Charlie Rose around “What is Racism”, and a Google Doodle honoring the life of Audre Lorde, illustrated by artist Monica Ahanonu.
Student Activist Day
The power of youth activism has the potential to lead to sweeping policy change as our young people stand up and demand more from inequitable systems. This month, BLM at School highlights the life and work of Barbara Johns, who in 1951 as a highschool junior staged a school walk-out to demand better school conditions in her vastly overcrowded and segregated school in Farmville, Virginia. Her activism as a student led to support from the NAACP, who used the case in Farmville to challenge the Constitutional standing of “separate but equal” with regards to education in the landmark case of Brown vs. The Board of Education.
Revolutionary Black Arts
"You can't sit around and wait for someone to say who you are. You need to write it and paint it and do it." - Faith Ringgold
During National Library Week, we seek to center the classic contributions of Black Writers and artists across the generations.
How are the themes and radical vision that they brought to their art reflected in your classrooms and communities? How can young people extend on these legacies?
Black Radical Educator Day
Black Radical Educator Day
Say Her Name Day
Say Her Name Day
Education for Liberation Day
Day of Self Reflection
Black Lives Matter At School - A Year of Purpose
SELF REFLECTION QUESTIONS
What is our school’s relationship to Black community organizing? Do we have relationships with local movement organizers? Do they see our school as a place that believes in their mission? Do they see our school as a place to connect with local families?
How are school-wide policies and practices – especially disciplinary practices – applied across categories of race? Do problematic patterns emerge when we look at how policies are applied to Black students and when we also consider the intersections of gender, sexual orientation, and (dis)ability with Blackness?
How are the voices, accomplishments, and successes of Black folx uplifted in my lessons, units, and curriculum? Rather than focus on singular events or individuals, does my approach highlight the everyday actions and community organizing that will lead to change?
In what ways do our practices erase the histories of our students and prevent them from bringing their whole selves into the learning environment?
How do I understand the role that local/state laws and policies have on the educational experiences of my students? What is my role in working to change policies, regulations, and practices that harm Black students and families?
Content Note: Content from this page is taken from the Black Lives Matter at School website https://www.blacklivesmatteratschool.com/
Books in the Library at Thornton Creek Elementary
Thornton Creek Librarian, Kristen Eason has compiled a selection of books on the topics of Race and Diversity to help students and families engage further during Black Lives Matter at School Week, and beyond. The books listed below are titles that are available to check-out from the Thornton Creek Elementary Library. During remote learning, current students can access our library through Clever to place books on hold. If you have any questions about book selections or need assistance checking books out, please reach out to Kristen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy
I am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
Your Name is a Song by Jamila Thompkins-Bigelow
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Freedom Soup by Tami Charles
I Love My Purse by Bell DeMont
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen
Under My Hijab by Hena Khan
Fiction Chapter Books
Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia
Betty Before X by Renee Watson
Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle
Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vanda Micheaux Nelson
Professional Education Books
(available for parents/guardians to check out too!)
Teaching for Black Lives by Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian, Wayne Au
How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi
Stamped by Jason Reynolds
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Us and Them: A History of Intolerance in America by Jim Carnes
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo