GREENSBORO, N.C. — If you’re walking down the halls of Guilford Elementary School in Greensboro, you’ll see beautiful displays on the walls and doorways. Each classroom is celebrating Black History Month with special decorations. The displays highlight major figures like Jackie Robinson, General Colin Powell, Whitney Houston, and Frederick Douglas.
WFMY Anchor Lauren Coleman interviewed Angela Kerr-Harrison, a kindergarten teacher assistant, about her classroom’s wall decorations. Their display pays tribute to Motown and its artists.
What did you do for your decorations?
“Well, we decided to go with Motown and music because in the curriculum we talked about Ray Charles and the kids were really excited to know that he could see at one time and then he lost his vision. We started with different types of music, and they just fell in love with that sound, believe it or not, because they like Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5. You’d be surprised because they are only 5. They wanted to make their own records, as you can see, they have their pictures, and they came up with their songs. I also included some of the real vinyl because I still love listening to it. My favorite was Marvin Gaye. We decided to do other music as well, but this is something we incorporate during the classroom. We have music breaks so it’s really good for them to get up and sing and dance around. We call them brain breaks and it really helps with the learning,” Kerr-Harrison said.
Motown Black History Month Tribute
Why is it important for the students to learn about Black History and celebrate the history as well?
“It’s important for them to learn about Black History and celebrate because unfortunately, it’s not in some of the books and if we don’t tell it, then it’s not carried on from generation to generation. People have great stories and even if it’s not in books, grandparents, and great-grandparents they can tell these stories because when they’re gone, the stories aren’t lost. We just need to get that going so that they can see everyone has contributed something in the United States by way of inventors and doctors. It’s important for them to see someone who looks like them doing things," Kerr-Harrison said.
Black History Month Wall Displays
Do you have an important piece of history in your family as well?
“I’m actually related to David Richmond who is one of the Greensboro Four. His wife Janice is my cousin," Kerr-Harrison said.
How does it feel to see all the decorations throughout the school?
“It feels great - the kids are so excited when they walk through the halls. We stop and we look at different doors, the walls, we read it to them and they’re excited. They tell us, I want to do that when I grow up! It’s very exciting to see all of that throughout the school," Kerr-Harrison said.