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Middle School Focuses on Local Black History With Presentations, Projects
bartram bhm

This year, the theme for Black History Month on the Bolles Middle School Bartram Campus is local Black history. Campus leaders are implementing a campus-wide project to highlight local figures, events and stories and have scheduled two guest speakers from local organizations to share their unique perspectives.

In their Advisory groups, students are working on a collaborative art installation. Each advisory is assigned an influential Black figure in Florida’s past or present history and has been tasked with researching that person with a focus on the following questions: how did your influential figure promote a sense of belonging and inclusion; and how did they show pride and improve their community in Florida. Next, they are taking the information they learn and making posters, bulletin boards, flipbooks, videos, powerpoints or similar productions in their own distinctive ways. Sixth and seventh graders are presenting their projects this way. Eighth graders have been asked to share what they’ve learned through performances to include skits, poems, readings, songs or dance. Students will perform their presentations during a late-February convocation, where students also will view a compilation video of sixth and seventh grade projects.

On February 14, Norman Studios Media and Outreach Director Devan Lesley will speak to students about historical Arlington film production house, Norman Studios. In the 1920s, studio founder Richard Norman produced silent films featuring African-American casts from 1919-1928. The films were made for Black audiences and Norman Studios was the first business of its kind to make this possible. Norman made eight silent films before closing his studio.

On February 22, the School has invited Durkeeville Historical Society President Lloyd Washington to speak with students. His talk will focus on the JP Smalls Stadium in Jacksonville and the history of the Negro Baseball League.