Black History Month 2021 - KIPP Chicago Public Schools

“If we give our children sound self-love, they will be able to deal with whatever life puts before them.” -bell hooks

“Even if makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.” -Janelle Monáe

Team & Family!

Happy Black History Month! 

KIPP Chicago is proud to celebrate our staff, students, alumni, and community partners’ rich histories, impact, beauty, and cultural legacies. This is a time to magnify African Americans’ many achievements and contributions to our economic, educational, spiritual, cultural, and political development. The collective idea is to recognize that Black history and Black people are a pivotal driving force that propels this nation forward, at every moment, even in the face of tremendous adversity. 

The February celebration’s origin is connected to a legacy of Black thought-leadership and activism right here in Chicago. On Feb. 7, 1926, Carter G. Woodson, initiated the first celebration of Negro History Week, which led to Black History Month, to extend and deepen the study and scholarship on African American history all year long. His message was that African American’s should be proud of their heritage and that everyone should understand it. He believed it was important to promote celebrations worthy of the people who had made the history. Dr. Woodson often said that he hoped the time would come when Negro History Week would be unnecessary; a time when all Americans would willingly recognize Black Americans’ contributions as a legitimate and integral part of this country’s history. 

So, though designated as 28 days of recognition, we must continue to be conscious and intentional in our collective learning, inclusion, and celebration of Black History 365 days a year. The narrative does not begin nor end with slavery, but rather with the brilliance and spirit rooted in excellence, joy, and community that has existed through our ancestors and continues through today’s generation. 

This month, KIPP Chicago will celebrate Black History and champion Black futures by amplifying the voices and impact of our KIPP community while looking back to celebrate movements and figures in history where African Americans thrived in the face of unconscionable barriers.

What can you expect this month? 

  • Black Heritage Celebration at all schools (So much love to our planning committees!) 
  • Staff voice features on our social channels and website (under our new culture and celebrations section) 
  • KIPP Chicago Art Contest winner announcement 
  • 3 virtual family wellness workshops on Heart-healthy meals 
  • Teacher wellness workshops
  • Regional Recap  of school activities + celebrations

Here are some concrete examples of how you can join in on the celebration: 

  • Participate in our Black History month regional survey to amplify your perspectives, connections to Black History, Favorite Black businesses and personal ventures. 
  • Encourage KIPPster to participate in our regional Art contest. 
  • Use our CMASJ and KIPP Chicago coloring book.
  • Follow KIPP Chicago on Facebook and Instagram today.
  • Tag @kippchicago in all posts & IG stories about Black History Month. Hashtag all posts with #kippchicago, #BLM, which will allow us to reshare your content and highlight your celebrations!
  • Encourage our students and families to like KIPP Chicago on Facebook and Instagram! Please post this reminder in your newsletter and from your school social accounts.  

We’ve created a robust resource guide that includes history, additional resources, a sample family communication letter, resources for students at every grade level, staff developmental opportunities, etc. Our hope is that you will continue to reference the guide throughout the school year and that we can collectively build upon it.

Mosaic Protest Mural 
by Kamelia Hristeva