February 23, 2020

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Celebrating Black History Month
Celebrating Black History Month

Celebrating Black History Month

Washington Township is celebrating Black History Month in a number of ways across our district and in our community. Please read below about how some of our teachers and students are teaching and learning about African American people who have made important impacts and contributions to our country.  

Black History Month Celebration and Greek Step Show

TIME: 6:30p – 8:00p
Location: NC Auditorium

The 1619 Project
The New York Times article “The 1619 Project” tells the story of the fist slave ship to arrive on the coast of this country carrying a cargo of 20-30 enslaved Africans who were sold to colonists. This writing asks us to consider the reframing of our history and the real date that our country began…. August 20, 1619.

Through the month of February in the North Central High School Art Gallery, visitors may engage in an installation dedicated to the 1619 Project.

“Supplementing information that is written in textbooks, the installation is designed for teachers to bolster their Black History curriculum, and for students to learn about an aspect of our country’s development that perhaps they had not considered,” said 
Basil P. Smotherman, District Art Dept. Chair responsible for the installation. “I think this is a great culturally enriching experience for our school, and I look forward to students, teachers and even families who visit, taking a moment to reflect on this important part of American history.”

  • NY TIMES Snip
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Each year the North Central High School Dean’s office hosts a Black History contest in an effort to teach students about lesser known African American figures in US history. The students take it seriously, taking a picture of each day’s information and studying it. This exercise during Black History Month encourages students to learn about individuals and connect with personal histories, in a friendly competition. 

Deans Office BHM
One of the historical figures featured in the Black History Month contest.


On February 3rd, Crooked Creek Elementary hosted two performances of the program, “Stories from the Underground Railroad.”
In this dramatic storytelling event, the perils of the enslaved people’s escape to freedom are shared as the characters travel along the informal route known as the Underground Railroad. Songs, rhythms and the story of the lives of two children bring these stories to life. Thank you to Young Audiences for helping students to learn and grow at Crooked Creek!
This program meets standards in Black History Month, Language Arts, Listening & Speaking, Social Studies, and U.S. History & Culture.

  • IMG_3791 - Brooke Callis
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Community Events Celebrating Black History

Art & Soul Feb. 1 – 29
During February, the Arts Council of Indianapolis will host a series of free, daily performances at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. Art & Soul is in its 24th year, and its 2020 celebration seeks to honor African American art and artists in Indiana.

Bill Myers & the Trash Collectors
Thursday, February 13
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Joilyn Martin
Friday, February 14
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Iibada Dance Company
Saturday, February 15
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Blackberry Jam
Wednesday, February 19
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Tenéh Karimu
Thursday, February 20
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Derek Reeves
Friday, February 21
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Devon Ginn
Saturday, February 22
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Rob Dixon Trio
Wednesday, February 26
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Griot Drum Ensemble
Thursday, February 27
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Manon Voice
Friday, February 28
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Kim Kenny & the Indy Urban Youth Choir
Saturday, February 29
12:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Indiana Repertory Theatre
Feb. 1 – 25
“The Watsons Go to Birmingham” is on stage now at the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Downtown Indianapolis.
The play is about a black family that travels from Michigan to the Jim Crow South in 1963. One of Washington Township’s own, Dalila Yoder is one of the young actresses featured in this production. Stop back by read a recent interview with Dalila and find out more about her involvement in telling this important story. 

Meet the Artists
Jan. 21 – Mar. 29
Explore the works of prominent local African American artists at the Central Indianapolis Public Library.
A variety of artistic mediums are on display for the public throughout the library during regular library business hours.

Book Discussion

Saturday, February 15
Eiteljorg Museum
Award-winning author and cultural documentarian Candacy Taylor will discuss the Green Book, which in the pre-civil rights era was an essential travel guide for African-American travelers seeking dining and lodging in safety. A book-signing of The Overground Railround will follow.

February 25, Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center
This spoken word program will delve into the history of Indy’s black community. Three local artists (Gabrielle Patterson, Theon Lee and Januarie York) will all be sharing pieces that shed light on the history and stories of Indianapolis.

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