Celebrating Black History Month

Black Teachers Matter

Known to some as African-American History Month, and formally recognized as “Negro History Week” by one of its creators, Carter G. Woodson, the annual observation of Black History Month offers a time for commemoration, as well as acknowledgement, reflection, and transformation.

In 1976, U.S. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month as the time to “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”. It must also be noted that the accounting and rumination of African-American contributions to society is celebrated annually, not only in America, but in lands such as Canada and the United Kingdom as well. For the year of 2020, Black History Month embraces the theme, “African Americans and the Vote.”

At SXSW EDU we want to give regard to the culture’s rich history by encouraging ongoing conversations relating to various topics surrounding the Black community and implement into our programming the opportunity for there to be open discussions on past and present issues pertaining to the community and how education serves it.

wakanda forever sxsw edu

One of the highly successful programming events we’ve seen submitted and scheduled in the past, and that’s come back this year, has been the “Black Teachers Matter” meetup. This event, initiated by Akiea Gross, was initially instituted to “shed light on the necessity of Black teachers in the American education system and beyond” and has prompted networking, lots of hugs and a safe space for Black-identifying educators from around the world and the like to build community during SXSW EDU.

Now that the majority of the conference programming and festival events for SXSW EDU have been announced we want to take time to intentionally celebrate the spirit and groundwork being done by and for African-American educators, authors, leaders, students, and advocates by highlighting some programming we are stoked about seeing as we prepare for our upcoming event. These sessions and events tackle a variety of topics including global education, allyship, the importance of representation, community groundwork, equity, and more that we’d like to spotlight for SXSW EDU 2020:

The culmination of diverse thoughts and pedagogy is the foundation of education’s future and we actively seek to welcome these educational rockstars as part of our annual programming. With more than 500 sessions on this year’s schedule, make sure to check out diversity programming as you begin to build your schedule.

This blog was written in collaboration by both Miah Diaz-Wallace and Erikka Polk, SXSW EDU Digital Media Interns. SXSW EDU 2019 Black Teachers Matter: Community Meet Up photo by Holly Jee and the Wakanda Forever Meetup by Steve Rogers.

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