Classroom Spotlight, Event Recap February 13, 2020
Baltimore Design School Family Celebrates First Annual Black Love & Literacy Night
The Baltimore Design School ELA department organized the first annual Black Love and Literacy Night on Wednesday, February 5. Staff collaborated, under the direction of teacher Valencia Clay, to orchestrate a collection of student work around the Black Love theme. Ms. Clay established a rubric for teachers to use to create their lessons, starting in […]
The Baltimore Design School ELA department organized the first annual Black Love and Literacy Night on Wednesday, February 5. Staff collaborated, under the direction of teacher Valencia Clay, to orchestrate a collection of student work around the Black Love theme.
Ms. Clay established a rubric for teachers to use to create their lessons, starting in early January ,where students would research, define and develop their understanding of “Black love.” Students would then “work independently to develop a response to the question: What is the definition of “Black love” from your own, a writer’s, an athlete’s, or artist’s perspective? How does your or their work display a theme of “Black Love” on a local, national, or global scale?”
Teachers took this task to a level that should inspire us all to participate. Mrs. Jones explored “Dr. Angelou’s Love Liberates and followed with a clip of Eartha Kitt talking about love and compromise. Then [she] asked them to brainstorm about all of the ways Black Love exists in A Raisin in the Sun.” Students then created art based on that experience that was displayed during the BLL event. While students brainstormed on their graphic organizers, Mrs. Jones played ” this awesome art21 playlist about artists making work about the Black experience.”
Ms. Nutsugah shared some of her personal artwork that she created for her fiancee, and encouraged students to express their own love. She assembled a YouTube playlist featuring Maya Angelo and Eartha Kit which she played for students during their sketch/planning time. She also introduced students to Oletha Devane, “an artist I love who builds sculptures using collage/found objects, which is how I like to work as well. She is also a black woman who expresses a specifically Black spirituality – which I consider a form of love – through her artwork. ”
Mrs. Freel adapted a poetry assignment to construct an ‘I Am” poem, using the prompts ‘What is the definition of “Black love”’ from your own, a writer’, an athletes, or artist’s perspective? How does your or their work display a theme of “Black Love” on a local, national, or global scale?’
Ms. Amanda Wagoneer, the BDS/MICA AmeriCorps Vista, collaborated with MICA’s Globe Printing to create a poster campaign that included a slogan contest for the 2020 BLL Event Poster. Ms. Kayna Turner – parent of two BDS middle school scholars- submitted the winning slogan and will receive a gift basket including a gift certificate from ToBo Salon (Twist Out Blow Out). A week before the event, Ms. Wagoneer took a group of students to Globe to assist in making the posters, which were given away at the event. Families were also able to create their own posters at a table that Globe set up with crafted stamps and tools to customize each piece.
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW), Baltimore Chapter was on-hand to educate families about voting rights and the process of voter reistration. Ms. Wagoneer worked with Globe printing to create posters encouraging folks to not only register…but to VOTE! We had 25 students register to excercise their voting rights!
DewMore Poetry was in the house, leading a family poetry workshop. Poet, Grimm, did an amazing job of guiding families to express their Black Love Truth through written and spoken word. Then he treated the group to a performance that left everyone spellbound, and appreciating why he’s such an important coach for our after-school poetry club.
The City Schools Media Team was on the scene and interviewed Ms. Williams – ELA teacher and Madison Woodward – BDS ’20 Fashion student.
Our beautiful ‘Black Love and Literacy’ commemorative T-Shirts were designed by 8th grade scholar Sinaya F. Shirts were given out to families and staff to wear proudly in support of our scholars.
Mr. Blanks, our Family Community Engagement Liaison and a Dean of Student Support helped to organize the event and arrange for dinner. Food was provided by the student culinary team at Carver V-Tech. Students were delighted that BDS teachers worked together to set up and serve.
Ms. Kaplan, BDS school social worker, made a beautiful ‘Black Lives Matter in School’ board, encouraging all to add their voice to display.
We had an AMAZING turnout from families and our school halls were truly filled with love.
We even had a visit from a group of students from ACE Academy!
BDS ’20 Graphic Design student Mason Alston (@maisonslament and www.linkre.ee/maisonslament) was our house DJ for the evening.
Finally, the excitment of the evening…students worked for weeks with Ms. Clay and her team on concept and performance. The results were a stunning, heartfelt and courageous group of our talented youth sharing their most personal expressions of Black Love. They were heard, celebrated and applauded.
Thanks to Mr. O’Hara and his Architecture students for building the stage.
Stay tuned for video performances to come!
This was an incredible event that was such a huge success due to the leadership and collaboration of our amazing staff. They worked together to encourage students to give their best, exemplifying Black Love in it’s truest capacity. We can’t wait to do it all over again next year!