Carter G. Woodson founded what was known as “Negro History Week” on February 7, 1926. Woodson strongly believed that Black History--which others tried to erase-- is a foundation for young Black Americans. He believed that if they had a strong appreciation for their history that they would become productive citizens in society. This would eventually lead to Black History Month. It took 50 years for Black History Month to be nationally recognized (1976). Forty-five years later, we still must be intentional with celebrating the many accomplishments of African Americans and their impact in this country. Woodson also believed that there would be a time when all Americans would willingly recognize the contributions of Black Americans as an integral part of American History. Unfortunately, that time has not come yet.
Here at Jones, we are trying to do our part to change that narrative. We fully support our Black Coalition and its efforts to inform us about being Black in America, educate us on what we can do to make that experience better, and lead us in celebration of Black History Month.
Linked below is an open letter penned by our Black Coalition which is composed of members of the Black Student Union, Natural Hair Club, and Black Leaders and Mentors. This is a sobering reminder of our need for racial equity here at Jones. Let us use Black History Month as the starting point for progress. Let us appreciate what African Americans have done for this country and continue to do. Let us begin to truly listen to the voices of our Black students and what they need for a positive, inclusive, space. Thank you Black Coalition for sharing your thoughts and feelings. We will continue to work to make Jones a better place.
Greetings Jones Community!
The Black Coalition is proud to release an open letter, for our administration, teachers, peers, and community at large, entitled “To Be Black at Jones.” This open letter serves the purpose of unpacking the many needed conversations about racially-charged events that have taken place within and outside of the Jones community. We challenge our peers to unify and amplify their voices, especially while viewing the maltreatment, dismissal, and racial targeting of peers. The foreword of this piece was written by Cole Francis (Class of 2022), and it highlights the broader experiences of many Black students attending predominantly white institutions, such as Jones. Further, The Black Coalition has outlined four actionable steps that, to bring to fruition, we will further discuss with administration and other student-led groups. We encourage you to read our letter in its entirety to fully understand the scope of the conversation we are bringing to the forefront this Black History Month. Please share our message across your respective platforms in support of our goals. Thank you.