| AAMA Newsletter Volume # 2
Celebrating Black Excellence Every Day
Far too often we celebrate American history without acknowledging the contributions of Black Americans. In this volume of the AAMA newsletter, we want to continue to emphasize that Black history is American history. There would be no American history without the contributions of Black Americans. Please be certain to share this with your children and the students you serve.

In this newsletter, you will see:

  • Student reflections on celebrating Black History Month
  • Educational resources
  • Message from AAMA staff
  • Upcoming events
  • More info on AAMA
For Translations in Somali and Amharic:

Si aad u hesho tarjumaadda dukumintiga, fadlan nuqul ka samee oo ku dheji qoraalka iskuxiraha hoose sida ku qoran afkaaga. Fadlan la soco in tarjumaada xiriirka halkan hoose ku yaal ay bixiso Google Translate, saxsanaantu waxay ku kala duwanaan doontaa luuqad Wixii su'aalo ah, fadlan tixraac macluumaadka xiriirka ee ku taxan farriinta / dhajinta. Ingiriisi ku Somali.

ሰነዶችን በቋንቋዎ ለመተርጎም፣እባክዎን ጽሑፉን በቋንቋዎ መሠረት ከዚህ በታች ወደ አለው አገናኝ ይቅዱ እና ይለጥፉ። ከዚህ በታች ያለው የትርጉም አገናኝ በ Google Translate የቀረበ መሆኑን እና ትክክለኛነቱ በቋንቋ እንደሚለያይ እባክዎን ልብ ይበሉ፡፡ለማንኛውም ጥያቄ፣ እባክዎን በዚህ መልእክት/ልጥፍ የተዘረዘሩትን የመገናኛ መረጃ ይመልከቱ ፡፡ ከእንግሊዝኛ ወደ ሶማሊኛ
Nothing About Us Without Us
Student Reflections: Celebrating Black History Month
In January's AAMA Student Leadership Council meeting, Kings were asked to reflect on why we celebrate Black History Month, what they traditionally learn, and if we should continue to celebrate Black History Month.

We shared the Vice video "Why Black History Month Shouldn’t Exist" to start a conversation with SLC members.

  • "A wonderful substitute for Black History Month would be the implementation of Black History in all of our classes." - King Ajala

  • "Every month already acknowledges white history every day, but they only acknowledge black history for 28 days (the shortest month of the year)." - King Kevin

  • "They teach what they want us to know during black history month. Of course they gon teach us bout the MLKs but what about the Robert Smalls?" - King LeManuel

Before you read more of the student's reflections, AAMA Manager Adam Haizlip has a suggestion: "Hold Up! Hold Up! Hold Up! We dropped the link above, but before you judge our blackness, digest the video and our students' responses."
Educate. Engage. Empower.
Educational Resources for Black History Month
Black family,

110 years ago, Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the Association of Negro Life and History collaborated to birth what is now called Black History Month. Amidst the terrorism of lynching, the destruction of Black Wall Street, the Black Migration, "separate but equal" doctrine, Jim Crow, and vagrancy laws, these mighty Queens and Kings, and those before and after, continued to thrive. Even better, they blessed the world with brilliance -- Black Excellence!

Beyond Black History Month, our office celebrates African American history 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. That’s right-- everyday is a celebration of Black Excellence, especially when you are looking to acknowledge it. For example, the next time you are at a red light think of Garret A. Morgan, an African American man and the inventor of the traffic light. From great ancestors like Sojourner Truth, Angela Davis, Dr. Patricia Hill Collins, Queens and Kings, this is where we come from -- straight excellence!

But, we don't just celebrate holidays and heroes. It's important to continue to celebrate Black Excellence in the heroes who aren't talked about and the brilliance in ourselves, our community, in our students, and in our staff every day. Amidst all of our darkest days -- a global pandemic, remote learning, the conscious and unconscious biases, and racism we encounter -- we are still here. We want you to know that we see you. We love you. And, alongside you, we are working to change our school system and the world one truth and one courageous step at a time.

We recognize that contributions in our community and system are happening every day in different ways. Thank you to all of our amazing families, students, staff, community partners, and leaders in Seattle for your support of Black Excellence in our district.

This week, AAMA experienced the brilliance of young Queens and Kings at Nathan Hale High School. Students in the school's Black Student Union showed great vulnerability as they shared their virtual learning experiences and facilitated a powerful forum that had over 200 diverse student representatives. This event showed the importance of elevating student voices.

As we reflect on the brilliance of the students that we work alongside in our district, I am reminded of Fred Hampton, a young leader and revolutionary that was assassinated by the police for his brilliance in organizing street gangs to join the movement in solidarity. King Hampton is a great example that no matter how old you are, you can contribute to history. As King Hampton said, "We're going to fight racism not with racism, but we're going to fight with solidarity."

Now that’s game!

One love,
Kingmakers of Seattle Extended Applications Open
We are honored to offer the next Kingmakers of Seattle Extended (KOSE) cohort starting Feb. 23. KOSE is a program for African American male students in grades 7-12 that focuses on the cultural, historical, social, and emotional needs of young Kings. We will engage, empower, and encourage students by creating opportunities within brotherhood-centered groups. The next cohort will start February 23 twice a week for five weeks after school. Students at schools with no African-centered learning facilitated by staff who reflect them, affinity spaces, or cultural identity spaces will get first priority. Apply by Feb. 19.
Listen. Act. Repeat.
Our mantra for community engagement is "Listen. Act. Repeat." We are actively involving Black students, families, partners, community elders, and the greater Seattle community in building a system that celebrates the brilliance of Black boys and teens throughout SPS.
AAMA Listen and Learn Forums
AAMA is launching our Listen and Learn forum in February 2021 to continue to listen to Black families as we reconstruct our educational system to celebrate the brilliance and excellence of Black boys and teens. These forums are focused on the voices of Black families in SPS. AAMA will publish and share the findings with our larger community, including professional development for staff, later this year. Register here.

  • Northeast Families, Friday, February 5, 2021, 6 - 8 p.m.
  • Northwest Families, Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 6 - 8 p.m.
  • Central Families, Friday, February 12, 2021, 6 - 8 p.m.
  • Southwest Families, Monday, February 22, 2021, 6 - 8 p.m.
  • Southeast Families, Thursday, February 25, 2021, 6 - 8 p.m.
  • African Home Language Families, Friday, February 26, 2021, 6 - 8 p.m.
About the Office of African American Male Achievement
The Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA) works to ensure that the educational environment across the system supports the brilliance and excellence of Black boys and teens. The Office of AAMA is a driver of systemic change, not a program. Seattle Public Schools is the first district in Washington state, and one of the few across the nation, to create an office that intentionally cultivates the cultural and academic strengths of African American male students while simultaneously addressing their needs. AAMA is committed to the long journey required for the positive transformation of SPS, and has been working to achieve that vision every day since its founding in 2019.

For more information, check out the Office of AAMA webpage.
  • View the district calendar for upcoming events and school year dates.
  • Learn more about district resources, including tech supports, meal distribution, childcare, and more on the SPS website.
  • Follow Seattle Public Schools on social media to stay updated with upcoming events.
Office of African American Male Achievement 206-252-0000
2445 3rd Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98134