We Honor & Celebrate Black Leaders
Whose Contributions
Improved Our Lives and Changed the World
Can you imagine going to an ice cream shop in your neighborhood and being told by the store owner that you can’t buy ice cream there because of the color of your skin? Not so long ago, this practice of racial discrimination (treating people differently based on their race or skin color) was very common in our country. On May 2nd, 1963, 9-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks decided she would not accept this wrong practice and did her part to fight against it. She bravely participated in a march against segregation in Alabama and got arrested for doing so. Audrey was the youngest activist to be arrested and spent days all alone in the jail without her parents. That was just the beginning. 
Throughout her lifetime, Audrey continued to work on ending racial segregation that earned her the title of “Civil Rights Queen”. The next time you walk into a library, a doughnut shop or just get ready to go play with your friends at a park, you don’t have to think about whether you will be allowed to do so because of the bravery of civil rights activists like Audrey. Thank you Audrey Faye Hendricks!

What would our lives be like if we did not have clocks? We would all be off schedule. In 1753, Benjamin Banneker was just 21 years old when he invented the first clock in the United States. The clock was made out of hand-carved wood, based on his own drawings and calculations and it continued to run non-stop until it was destroyed in a fire 40 years later! Banneker was also an outstanding astronomer and created almanacs of ellipses and other planet events. He advised Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States, on topics such as slavery and racial equality. He also was a leader in the design of Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States of America. Thank you Benjamin Banneker! 

If we didn’t have refrigerators, how would that change our daily lives? Food would spoil faster, we would have to go to the grocery store more often, storing medicines would not be possible and diseases would spread more easily. In 1891, John Standard designed a refrigerator that helped food stay cooler for much longer with a cool design for chilling. He also invented the oil stove with a space-saving design. The next time you open your refrigerator or are at a buffet meal, look for the small stoves under the hot food and think of John Standard. Thank you John Standard!

Have you ever thought of why we need rockets? Why not just use airplanes to go to space? You see, airplanes need air - lots of it - to fly. There isn’t much air in outer space, so scientists had to figure out how to use a combination of earth’s gravity and some fuel to put rockets in space to go to the Moon. In 1962, NASA wanted to put a human in a spaceflight to go around Earth, which was their trial run before getting a human on to the Moon. Katherine Johnson was a key mathematician on the Friendship 7 Mission who made the mission a success. She single-handedly showed through methodical calculations that NASA can do this safely and gave confidence to the first human, an astronaut named John Glenn, that it’d be ok for him to go on that first spaceflight without fear. Space exploration has led to many inventions. So, the next time your parent uses an ear thermometer to check your temperature, or you use a cordless vacuum cleaner at home, you have Katherine to thank for her leadership in making space exploration and more possible. Thank you Katherine Johnson!

Who doesn't love a bag of potato chips? George Crum loved experimenting with food. In the summer of 1853, when working as a chef at a New York resort, George created the potato chip. Back then, fried potatoes cut lengthwise (French fries) were common. One day, a guest at the restaurant complained that the French-fried potatoes were too thick. In response, George made thin potato slices and fried them. The result was an instant success. Today, we find so many varieties of potato chips in the grocery store and we have George to thank for creating this large and delicious industry. Thank you George Crum! 

Black History Moments  
Jesse Owens was the first American Track and Field athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympic Games. He achieved international fame at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany by winning four gold medals: 100 meters, long jump, 200 meters, and 4 × 100-meter relay. He also set three world records and tied another world record, all in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan — a feat that has never been equaled and has been called "the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport". 

Thurgood Marshall was the first Black Supreme Court Justice and best remembered for advancing civil rights and racial justice. As the Chief Attorney in the Brown vs. Board of Education case, he won the argument that racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional, which eliminated racial segregation in schools on May 17, 1954. He was nominated to the Supreme Court on Oct 2, 1967 where he served for 24 years. Thurgood Marshall's Bible was used by Vice President Kamala Harris when she was sworn into office at her Inauguration on January 20, 2021. 

Black History Celebration Events
Black History Celebration Bedtime Story Night on Wednesday, 2/24 at 6:30pm
We’re delighted to host children’s author Patrice McLaurin for a district-wide elementary school focused virtual author evening visit. Patrice will read from her wonderful picture book Have You Thanked an Inventor Today? At the end of the presentation, there will be a 12-book giveaway with a signed book going to a student participant from each of the 12 PAUSD elementary schools. Patrice McLaurin’s presentation will take place on Wednesday, February 24th, from 6:30pm - 7:30pm for all elementary school students in PAUSD.
Zoom link for this event: https://pausd.zoom.us/j/91455422038

Black History Celebration Family Fun Night on Friday, 2/26 at 6:30pm
Join us for a high-energy, district-wide, professionally led celebratory online event where our elementary students will keep the learning and fun going beyond the Black History Celebration Newsletters and Bedtime Story Night with Black History-focused Bingo, Kahoot, Scavenger Hunt, and more with prizes! All PAUSD Elementary School families are welcome. You don’t want to miss this! Zoom details to come!

Sign Up for Ruby Bridges Walk 'n' Roll Month
More than 60 years ago, Ruby Bridges' mother courageously supported her six year old daughter in becoming the first Black student to walk to an all-white school. Sign up for Ruby Bridges Walk 'n' Roll Month and learn about how supporting transportation equity can reduce those impacts of traffic congestion, transportation-related injury and chronic disease, air pollution exposure and access to jobs, health care and education that disproportionately affect people in historically under-represented communities. 

PAUSD and the City of Palo Alto Launch a 21-Day Equity Challenge 
This is a powerful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives, our community and our student's education. For 21 days during Black History Month, Palo Alto students, parents, staff and the community at large are encouraged to do one action each day beginning on February 1.  The #PAEquityChallenge will provide online daily activities (brief readings, videos, etc.) that can be done in 15 minutes or less.  Each daily topic will provide an opportunity to deepen our connections and further our understanding of power, privilege, oppression, and equity. Please sign up and encourage others to do so as well! https://tinyurl.com/PAEquityChallenge 

Thanks for celebrating Black History with us! More to come next week! 
Questions, Comments, or Clarifications? Email ptabhc2021@gmail.com
Questions, Comments, or Clarifications? Email ptabhc2021@gmail.com