Black History Month at KMS

Black History Month at KMS

Every February, people in the US celebrate the history and achievements of African Americans. This is classified as Black History Month.

The central idea of Black History Month began in 1915. A historian, Carter G. Woodson, co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in response to the lack of information available to the public on the achievements of Black people. Later, in 1926, the second week of February was declared as “Negro History Week.” Very few people studied Black history prior to this creation, but many schools and leaders started recognizing the week soon after it was made. In 1976, the week officially became Black History Month after president Gerald Ford extended the recognition to honor the often neglected achievements of Black people. Since then, Black History Month has been celebrated every February in the United States. Today, Black History Month continues acknowledging Black people and their contributions to history by holding activities such as museum exhibits and film screenings and encouraging the study of the achievements of African Americans. 

Enslaved Africans brought the tradition of using bright colors, large shapes, and asymmetry to American textile art. They used these traditions in America, handing down their talents for many generations, creating many self-taught artists. The quilts, created from scraps of cloth, each told certain experiences. They could be about family history, biblical stories, or narratives of hope and survival. African American quilters are celebrated for their art, an example being Faith Ringgold. Faith Ringgold is a famous Black artist and activist whose work focuses on art, feminism, and the Civil Rights movement. She is best known for her painted story quilts, though she does have many more creations– sculptures, mosaics, performance art, and children’s books. 

At Kraemer Middle School, students have the option to make their own little paper quilt. This project should tell the story or history of whoever made it. It should show courage, strength, and resilience. To fit the Faith Ringgold style, students should include seven different contrasting colors, some bright and some dark. Students may also add geometric shapes in the background of their drawing if they wish. The goal of this is to help Kraemer make a quilt out of paper. The colorful quilt will then be displayed on the library windows, reflecting the KMS strength and community.