February Newsletter 2024
Dear Parents and Guardians -
I recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi regarding his new young adult novel Barracoon which recounts the life story of Cudjo Lewis as told by himself. Cudjo was the last known person alive to recount his capture and enslavement starting in 1859. He told his story in 1931 at the age of 86 to Zora Neale Hurston who was a historian and well-known author.
Listening to Dr. Kendi - there were numerous reminders that the past informs our present and that it is essential for us to continue to educate young adults on lessons learned to ensure we do not repeat past atrocities. As we celebrate and acknowledge black history month in February, it is important to reflect on the 300,000 people who were brought to the United States against their will between 1501 and 1875, most of whom were never able to return to their homeland.
On a related note, we have done equity work as a staff on several occasions over the past two years. At a recent professional development session, we engaged in a conversation about how to address racial slurs and dehumanizing language by using different strategies to address the behavior and ensure students are educated about the harm that can result from unkind words or actions towards others. This is important work as awareness and understanding can lead to better outcomes in future interactions. It also helps address our goal of raising well-rounded students and future leaders.