Black History Month at Browne Academy

February 27, 2023

Four young children in a classroom, holding up illustrated reports

Throughout Black History Month, Browne’s students have explored influential African-Americans through topics such as sports, math, art, and history. These studies have allowed students to bridge the past with the current while looking forward to their own future as changemakers. Below is a snapshot of the exciting explorations that happened across campus throughout February:

Preschool teachers introduced “The Celebration of Black History!” Through Black History, our youngest students learned much about themselves and their abilities to overcome challenges, big and small. They learned from their preschool perspective and considered things morally; they learned from past mistakes and the importance of treating others with compassion; and they learned to be givers and helpers. Books that complemented their studies included I am Enough by Grace Byers and Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy.

With their love for sports, kindergarten students made connections by researching African-American athletes. Their research included pictures and information about their chosen athlete. Similarly, 1st graders used research skills acquired through Writer’s Workshop to research African-Americans who are present-day change agents. Cori Bush, Rev. Raphael Warnock, and Rosalind Brewer are three people the 1st graders studied.

Second and third-graders engaged in an exploration of artist Alma Thomas. The beautiful book Ablaze With Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas, by Jeanne Walker Harvey led the discussion. Students studied Thomas’ artwork and discussed her life, inspiration, and accomplishments. They learned that she was the first African-American female artist to have her work hung in the White House! Students even created their own joyful artwork, inspired by Thomas and nature.

Fourth graders highlighted African-American mathematicians and their contributions to many of today’s scientific advancements. They also thought about Dr. King’s dream and how it impacted their dreams for their present and future.

Middle school students spent three advisories learning about and discussing MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. Middle school history teacher Dr. Gray designed the activity to start around MLK Day and transition kids to Black History Month over three weeks. Resources used in their discussion:

In Ms. Beam’s art class, eighth graders created activist prints, where chosen subjects included Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, and Muhammed Ali. Ms. Tietjen’s second-grade art students created portraits of Delta Blues musicians.

Browne’s community celebrates not only the achievements of African-American people but their strength, courage, and tenacity. These are traits our students display daily while they learn and grow.


A young student looks in a hand-held mirror
On a bulletin board, three student
A student holds up the book, Ablaze With Color. This image is cut next to an image of paint brush strokes in a cluster.
Two differently colored versions of an artistic rendering of Muhammad Ali
Two vibrantly colored abstract renditions of black musicians with guitars