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Johnston Elementary Students Celebrate African American Achievements During Black History Learning Walk


Johnston, SC – Standing poised and calm in a noisy hallway beneath a picture of famed poet Maya Angelou, Johnston Elementary School (JES) fifth-grade student Ta’niylah Jeffery focused instead on her written words.

Black History Month is for heroes. There is more than zero.

Harriet made the Underground Railroad.

She helped loads.

Martin Luther King had a dream.

That helped out some things.

Rosa, she didn’t want to sit in the back.

Jesse Owens, he ran track.

Lucy Stanton was the first black woman to attend college. She had a lot of knowledge.

George Speck made the chip.

Nowadays, people eat with dip.

Madam CJ was the first black self-made female millionaire selling products for hair.

All of these heroes

Encourage me to have career goals.

Having finished reading her poem – entitled “Black History Heroes” – Ta’niylah smiled and looked toward her next reading. She was just one of the many student performers featured during Johnston Elementary School’s Black History Learning Walk (2/27/24). JES students researched and learned about the many important achievements and contributions of African Americans, and then they shared what they had learned with their families and the community.

Those who attended the event were treated to performances by the JES Chorus, living history performances by students who portrayed Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and student art (to include posters, pottery and more) created specifically for the learning walk.

Featured performances and displays included all JES students, from Ta’niylah and her classmates in fifth grade to students of teachers Angela Fallaw and Kim Gilley in Kindergarten and 4K, respectively.

“We focused on peacemakers and how we can be peacemakers, and then peacemakers in history, specifically, Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks,” stated Fallaw. “We’ve learned about them, and they’ve written about them, and today we’re celebrating all the children have learned.”

“We read books about Jackie Robinson, Garrett Morgan and Mae Jemison,” commented Gilley. “Then each child made a book about them, and they made crafts to help them remember that Garrett Morgan invented the traffic light and Mae Jemison went into space, because they know Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play Major League Baseball.”

ECSD Public Information Office