What’s Right With Our Schools: Chattanooga Prep Juneteenth Observance
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – Ricardo Morris is the CEO of the Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts and Ideas.
He explains, “We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wall Street, black Wall Street massacre in Tulsa Oklahoma, and I thought it would be really a great idea if we included some students in that history lesson, and so we developed a newspaper that has all of the information and history of black Wall Street as well as Juneteenth as well as Memorial Day which was also created by Black people. And dressing them up in 1921 newsies outfits.”
Ari Craig is a Freshman at Chattanooga Prep.
He says, “Today we are handing out loose papers about, about Juneteenth in Tulsa Oklahoma. And the history behind it. I really don’t Know much about it, but what I know so far is that it was terrible racism is what was happening in Oklahoma and stuff.”
Kacey Melton lives in Chattanooga.
She says, “I think in today’s society right now that this is a very important thing to do. I think that black lives do matter and I think that our society really needs to hear that and understand that.”
Michael Howard is the Theatre Teacher at Chattanooga Prep.
He says, “I feel that it is part of my duty here being on the planning is to make sure that these young men know their history. So we don’t repeat history again. And it dawned on me that we celebrate July 4. And I asked the kids what was July 4 about and they would be like fireworks. And I’m like oh really. I said do you really understand that when we celebrate our independence the African Americans were still slaves? And do you actually know the freedom date of slavery? And it is June 19. So I have to let them know because our young man did not know that we were freed from slavery June 19, 1865.”
Ricardo concludes, “If you’ve been looking at anything on television whether it is CNN or any of the networks, you will find that this has been a big topic because of that one hundredth anniversary. And now those survivors are looking for reparations. And so again we have the news media following along with a lot of things that have gone home. But people are learning the history of that Tulsa intentionally covered up for almost 100 years.”