Oak Hill Middle School shines light on legacy of black Americans

One of the things Oak Hill Middle School counselor Jean English is passionate about is black history.

And it’s important to her to share that lineage with her students, so they know what their ancestors faced.

“There was segregation, there were no schools together at one time,” English said they don’t realize that someone has paved the way for them to be able to come to school together to get a good learning. “I want them to see that blacks are doing very good in Fayette County and out.”

For Keelen Treadway, learning about the origins of black history beyond oppression has been transformative for the eighth-grader.

“There is always gonna be hurdles over the way; you just gotta keep pushing and keep moving and that’s exactly what they did,” said the eighth-grader. “And that’s what makes me proud to say that black history will be forever changed.”

Oak Hill Middle School is showcasing the first black mayor, first black football coach, and first athletic director to show the kids no matter where you come from anything is possible.

“Mount Hope, if you come from Harlem Heights, Minden, that is there any good that can come out of these places,” English said yes. “So I showcase people that they know. One of the students here is his sister up there; she’s a doctor. So it is good for the students to know ‘hey, they made it’… I can make it too.”

For eighth-grader Jacmine Bailey, Black History Month is about celebrating the contributions of black Americans.

“It means to me the success of the black people and the freedom we have, and how far we have come,” said Bailey.

English wants the kids to be good students and productive adults.

“You want them to see that they can do good, not just say that they want to work at a fast food restaurant, but that they can be a doctor, they can be engineers; they can be judge,” English said. “You know we may have a president out of Fayette County one day… we never know.”

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