Social justice reporting 2: Black History Month

JUST+SMART%3A+Seniors+Danielle+Atwood%2C+Lia+Jones%2C+Brooke+Miller+and+Kyla+Gibson%2C+and+junior+Vivian+Odoms+volunteer+to+go+on+stage+during+Dr.+Leonard+Moore%E2%80%99s+fourth-period+talk.+Gibson+said+that+being+a+person+of+color+has+impacted+her+experiences+at+school+%E2%80%9CIn+AP+classes+the+teachers+are+always+like%2C+%E2%80%98Oh+my+God+we+love+you%2C+you%E2%80%99re+so+smart.%E2%80%99+But+there%E2%80%99s+always+that+stereotype+of+%E2%80%9Cyou%E2%80%99re+smart+for+a+black+person%2C%E2%80%9D+Gibson+explained.+%E2%80%9CI+just+want+to+be+smart+for+being+smart.%E2%80%9D+Photo+by+Regan+Sims.

Regan Sims

JUST SMART: Seniors Danielle Atwood, Lia Jones, Brooke Miller and Kyla Gibson, and junior Vivian Odoms volunteer to go on stage during Dr. Leonard Moore’s fourth-period talk. Gibson said that being a person of color has impacted her experiences at school “In AP classes the teachers are always like, ‘Oh my God we love you, you’re so smart.’ But there’s always that stereotype of “you’re smart for a black person,” Gibson explained. “I just want to be smart for being smart.” Photo by Regan Sims.

MacJournalism news team

Black History Month is a time of celebration of the Black experience and Black culture in America as well as reflection upon Black history and how it shapes where we are today. At McCallum, Black History Month activities have gradually expanded over the years in an effort to more widely recognize and celebrate Black History and the experience of Black students on campus. On our MacJournalism platforms, we tried to increase our coverage to meet the increase in the amount of time and energy that was being put toward Black History Month programs. We covered Black History Month events on our Instagram account (see below), on our website, in our print newspaper and in our yearbook.  The coverage on these platforms centered on presentations from Black guest speakers and students, art galleries with work by students of color, as well as other Black History-themed events. The month opened the eyes of many McCallum students and staff to the many issues with inequity at McCallum that need to be addressed, including but not limited to the ratio of Black students in AP classes, the ratio of Black teachers on staff and the lack of coverage focused on Black students on the part of Macjournalism platforms. The Black History Month events served as a great starting point for a deeper look at the Black experience, in life and in education. The recent protests in response to an epidemic of police brutality against Black Americans show us that there is much work left to do in addressing social justice in America, but they serve as an excellent springboard for a much longer fight. The school as a whole, and for that matter, our disproportionately white newspaper staff must continue to examine our own prejudices and constantly focus on achieving equity for Black students at McCallum. This issue can no longer be fit into a month; it must turn into a constant, conscious effort.

Black History Month at McCallum coverage on MacJournalism Instagram account

 

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The Career Speakers Series sponsored by AVID and the College/Career Center hosted Austin City Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison on Friday. Harper-Madison represents Austin’s District 1, where she was born and raised. Her experience as a small business owner on the Eastside led her to get involved in political advocacy. She served as president of the East 12th Street Merchants Association and also founded East Austin Advocates, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting under-represented residents with the resources they need to succeed. She became a Council Member after winning election in her first campaign for City Council in 2018. She is the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and sits on the Housing and Planning Committee, Judicial Committee, and Regional Affordability Committee. Photos and caption by Zulmy Galindo. #macAVID #careerspeakerseries

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This week’s Black History Spirit Week continues Wednesday with ethnic (South African) colors day.

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BLACK HISTORY IN THE CLASSROOM: Seniors in Erin Summerville’s fourth-period government class delivered presentations last Friday about a famous influencer for Black History Month. “They’re a good class,” Summerville said. “They’re always very attentive towards what each other are saying.” (1) Senior Stephanie Roothaan gives her presentation on Olympian Alysia Montano. Roothaan shared with the class how Montano challenged her deal with Nike who threatened to cut her pay during her pregnancy and maternity leave. “She basically proved that motherhood doesn’t have to affect your career,” Roothan said of Montano. “If anything, it makes you stronger.” (2) Senior Jacob Castillo presents about the life and career of Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, a popular rapper who has helped influence modern hip-hop as well as other rappers. His music often discusses deeper topics that most rappers avoid. “I chose Kendrick Lamar because he’s sort of an inspiration to me,” Castillo said. “I also love his music.” Photos by Peyton Casey. #BlackHistoryMonth #MACBlackHistory #BlackHistory2020 #MACBlackHistoryMonth2020

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