Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Teach Black History at Bradoaks Elementary

Monrovia’s Local Access Television host, Ralph Walker, shares his knowledge about Black History with third graders while poking fun at himself holding a vintage Monrovia Weekly newspaper, “when my hair was black…” – Photo by Terry Miller/Beacon Media News

By Terry Miller

On Tuesday afternoon, KGEM host Ralph Walker spent several hours with students at Bradoaks Elementary School sharing his personal knowledge of the Civil Rights movement, as well as struggles and anguishes African-Americans endured at the hands of slave owners.

Walker, well-equipped with personal memorabilia and historic artifacts, held Miss Littlefield’s third graders’ attention throughout his half-hour lecture. The bright Bradoaks students were well-aware of Rosa Parks and the importance of her refusal to give up her seat on the bus. On Dec. 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Ala., Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake‘s order to relinquish her seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled. The United States Congress has called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”

Third graders were mesmerized by Walker’s talk Tuesday at Bradoaks. Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

At one deeply poignant moment, Walker illustrated the use of chains that slaves experienced. Slavery, which was the legal institution of human chattel enslavement primarily of Africans and African-Americans, existed in the United States of America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Slavery had been practiced in British America from early colonial days, and was legal in all Thirteen Colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It lasted in about half the states until 1865, when it was prohibited nationally by the 13th Amendment. As an economic system, slavery was largely replaced by sharecropping.

Founded May 22, 1992, Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association’s (MDBAA) purpose is to establish unity, solidarity and give support to peers, to be positive role models for youth, to establish a scholarship fund for Monrovia and Duarte High School students, and establish a memorial of deceased alumni.

MDBAA members are committed to reinvesting in the youth of their alma maters Monrovia and Duarte High Schools. The MDBAA awards annual monetary scholarships to graduating seniors attending Monrovia and Duarte High Schools that are going on to college. Eight ($1,000) scholarships were awarded in June 2017 and a total of over $64,000 has been awarded to date.

Black History Month activities during the month of February provide educational opportunities highlighting the rich history of African-Americans. These events include an Arts Festival (display and judging of children’s art projects), classroom storytelling, African-American themed movie nights, jazz brunch, and a culminating program and luncheon.

February 20, 2019

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Terry Miller

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