Virgin Islands History and Cultural Resources

The Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education facilitates the transmission of clear and concise knowledge of the history and culture of the Virgin Islands to the diverse students and adults of the Territory’s schools and neighborhoods, regardless of ethnicity. Enculturation and acculturation lead to greater respect for the Virgin Islands' way of life, by advancing the culture to achieve a more heterogeneous society.

Learn About

Virgin Islands History Month 2022: Big Tree Challenge

March 10, 2022, 7:34 a.m.

EXPERIENCE  THE REMARKABLE TREES IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS CHALLENGE

Big Tree Challenge. #VIBigTreeChallenge.

Students are encouraged to contact their school librarian and request the book "Remarkable Big Trees in the United States Virgin Islands" in order to obtain coordinates for the island's largest trees. Alternatively, students can participate by tapping into community memory and locate and visit big trees in their surrounding neighborhoods. Ex. Baobob, Genip, Mango, Silk Tree, (Monkey don’t climb tree), Flamboyant, Calabash, Tambarind, Sanbox Tree.

Take a Photo and Post to Your Facebook or Instagram using Hashtag #virginislandshistorymonth and/or #VIBigTreeChallenge. Alternatively, you can email your submissions @stephanie.cbrown@vide.vi for a chance to win a prize.

Explore Virgin Islands Historic Spaces Challenge

March 10, 2022, 7:27 a.m.

Explore Virgin Islands Historic Spaces

Let us explore and contribute to the preservation of our islands' ecology and built heritage

Sites. Navigate using the coordinates provided on the supplemental resource page. Coordinates can be entered in the Maps App on your mobile device or in the Maps App on your personal or government-issued computer.

 

Submissions. take a Photo and Post to Your Facebook or Instagram Page using Hashtag #virginislandshistorymonth and/or #VIBigTreeChallenge. Alternatively, you can email your submissions to stephanie.cbrown@vide.vi for a chance to win a prize.

 

What we are looking for. Add any family or personal experience of the space to the post or email submission. Ex. Tell us about any new knowledge you have gained or past experiences you and your family have had in relation to the historical space.

Celebrating Virgin Islands History Month 2022: "Step Into Heritage in Both Space and Mind"

March 8, 2022, 8:36 a.m.

Step into Heritage in Both Space and Mind

The Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education is promoting the islands' heritage through physical space this year. DVICE, in collaboration with several government agencies and non-profit organizations, is encouraging students to "Step into Heritage in Both Space and Mind." For a long period of time, the narratives of many estates and historical districts were told exclusively through one narrative, contributing to the erasure of the ingenuity of the Africans brought to these shores as enslaved people. Many of the enslaved Africans possessed exceptional craftsmanship skills and contributed to the vernacular of the then-Danish West Indies, now known as the Virgin Islands of the United States. 

 

These islands are inextricably linked to the legacies of built heritage. A large portion of the raw materials used to construct our historic structures came from the surrounding environment. We can learn about our islands' history through architecture and heritage spaces that incorporate elements from our natural environments and bricks imported from Europe, illustrating the Virgin Islands' intertwined African and European creolized heritage. Our ports, which now enable us to welcome many visitors, tell the story of bodies defying systemic subjugation in commerce and trade, as well as our use of early labor organizing to combat inequitable pay and treatment. The sugar mills that tower over our landscapes have the ability to connect us to our forefathers who toiled the land nearby; the large baobab trees remind us of power traveling legacies as the seeds of the trees were brought over in the hair of enslaved Africans; and the trees provided spaces of energy and empowerment for community action; particularly for leaders like D. Hamilton Jackson. 

 

As we empower ourselves in the climate change conversation, we can gain a better understanding of past harmful environmental practices and their consequences in the modern era, as well as how practices change but their underlying effects reappear in our contemporary era. 

 

For 2022, Step into Heritage in Both Space and Mind.

Repatriates, Recaptives and African Abolitionists: The Untold Story of Liberia's Founding Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1p.m. (Virgin Islands - Atlantic Time)

Feb. 7, 2022, 9:12 a.m.

As many of you are aware, Honorable Reverend Edward Blyden of the Virgin Islands spent a significant portion of his career in Liberia. This Black History Month, a free online webinar hosted by the Library of Congress, is scheduled for Wednesday, February 9th, at 1:00 p.m.
This webinar will be led by C. Patrick Burrowes, Ph.D. He was born in Liberia and is called "the people's professor" because of his willingness to share his deep knowledge of Liberian history freely with others. Before returning to Liberia in 2017, he was a tenured professor of communications and humanities at Penn State University. In August 2021, he uncovered a handwritten document missing since 1835 that sheds light on the 1821 purchase of land that became Monrovia, the capital city for the only United States colony in Africa. Burrowes says this is the most significant discovery of his career. This webinar does not require registration. To join the webinar, click here

https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1615341825#success

Further info on Edward Wilmot Blyden

Edward Wilmot Blyden, widely regarded as the founder of Pan-Africanism, was born on August 3, 1832 in what are now the United States Virgin Islands. Blyden was born in Denmark's Danish West Indies to Free Black parents. Blyden studied with Rev. John P. Knox, the Dutch Reformed Church's pastor. Rev. Knox became Blyden's mentor after being impressed by his scholarly potential, and it was through him that Blyden decided to become a clergyman. Blyden traveled to the United States in May 1850 with Mrs. Knox, the clergyman's wife, to enroll at Rutgers' Theological College in New Jersey, but was denied admission due to his race.

Blyden's attention was drawn to Africa. Liberia gained independence as a West African nation in 1847. In 1850, Blyden accepted a teaching assignment in Liberia. Blyden began working at Alexander High School in Monrovia, Liberia, shortly after arriving in January 1851. Monrovia was founded on April 25, 1822, by members of the American Colonization Society (ACS), a group formed to repatriate former slaves born in the United States to Africa. There he began his studies of theology, the classics, geography, and mathematics on his own. Blyden was ordained as a Presbyterian minister and named principal of Alexander High School in 1858. Additionally, Liberian President Joseph Roberts appointed him editor of the Liberian Herald, the nation's sole newspaper at the time.

Blyden used scripture and science to refute the increasingly popular arguments about black inferiority in Europe and North America during this time period.

Read Blyden's original address, "Our Origin, Dangers, and Duties," delivered before the Mayor and Common Council of Monrovia, Liberia on July 26, 1865, the day of national independence.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t6xw59393&view=1up&seq=3

 

 

People of the Caribbean in African American History: Arturo Schomburg and Nella Larsen US Postal Stamps

Feb. 3, 2022, 9:14 a.m.

Honoring Four of Harlem’s Historic Voices

The United States Postal Service Honored Four Historic Harlem Voices and Celebrated Voices of the Harlem Renaissance in 2020. Two of the four individuals mentioned have Caribbean roots.

Nella Larsen addressed the complexities of mixed-race people's lives, as well as issues of identity and belonging, in two novels. Larsen, now widely regarded as one of the most significant novels of the Harlem Renaissance, questioned theory and practice, and her work continues to encourage interpretations from previously marginalized perspectives.

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, an avid bibliophile and self-taught historian, exemplified the contributions of persons of African heritage on a global scale. Schomburg rescued black history from obscurity and safeguarded important cultural knowledge for future generations by his zealous collection of books, records, artwork, and other resources.

The stamps depict stylized pastel portraits of the four recipients based on historic images. Each stamp features background components derived from African patterns. The design features demonstrate the Harlem Renaissance writers and artists' heightened interest in African culture, history, and aesthetics. Gary Kelley created the artwork for these stamps, which were designed by Greg Breeding.

Honoring Four of Harlem’s Historic Voices

People of the Caribbean in African American History: Nella Larsen

Feb. 3, 2022, 8:51 a.m.

Nella Larsen

Nella Larsen was born Nellie Walker in Chicago in 1891. Her father was a black laborer from the Danish West Indies today know as the Virgin Islands of the United States. Nella's mother was a white domestic worker from Denmark. Nella's father left her shortly after her birth. Her mother eventually married Peter Larsen, a Scandinavian, and they had a daughter . According to Nella Larsen's biographers, mixed families had a difficult time finding communities that welcomed them, even if Nella assumed her stepfather's name.

George Hutchinson, Nella Larsen's biographer, wrote best on Larsen's issue of being raised by a loving mother but also a white mother of European background who did not completely grasp the challenges of raising a black child in an American environment.

"that she had no entrée into the world of the blues or of the black church. If she could never be white like her mother and sister, neither could she ever be black in quite the same way that Langston Hughes and his characters were black. Hers was a netherworld, unrecognizable historically and too painful to dredge up."

Nella Larsen was raised in a Caucaision household and community. Larsen attended public schools in Chicago that were predominantly composed of German and Scandinavian families. So, it was not until 1907, when she moved from Chicago to Nashville to attend the Fisk Normal School, a teacher-training school connected with historically black Fisk University, that she encountered non-white faces. Larsen first saw an all-black student body at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1907. Fisk's president and board of trustees were both white, but the majority of its faculty were black. Women students were prohibited to leave campus without a chaperone, and new rules regarding women's clothing and jewelry were implemented. Larsen was reportedly expelled from Fisk a year later for failing to adhere to the school's dress and conduct codes.

Larsen enrolled shortly at the Lincoln School for Nurses in the Bronx, which was founded to recruit black women to the profession. After acquiring the equivalent of a registered nurse's degree, she was hired as a supervisor of nurses at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1915. Though Tuskegee's hospital was the finest in the black South at the time, the nurses were reported to lack professional standing, and Tuskegee's student nurses were utilized as a labor force to clean and launder the hospital's linens, as well as assisting white doctors with their white patients. Nella returned to New York to join the nursing staff at Lincoln Hospital, where she earned her nursing certificate previously. In 1919, she married Elmer Imes, the second African-American to receive a doctorate in physics. Larsen and Imes became active in the 1920s, when the Harlem Renaissance began to take shape, with a community of black intellectuals that included W.E.B. Du Bois and Langston Hughes.

Larsen abandoned nursing to pursue a career as a librarian after seeing the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic in New York.

Larsen began her professional career in literature and art as a volunteer aiding with the preparation of the New York Public Library's first exhibition of African-American painters. She eventually enrolled in the library's teaching program and graduated as the institution's first black female graduate. Nella and her husband were familiar with the NAACP's leadership, which included prominent figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Walter White, and James Weldon Johnson. However, Larsen was excluded from the black upper class, which valued school and family ties, fraternities and sororities, due to her low birth as an immigrant and blended race child, as well as her lack of a college degree.

Nella reportedly felt more at ease amid the interracial bohemia epitomized by her close friend Carl Van Vechten, a white writer and photographer whose controversial 1926 work "Nigger Heaven" she defended against black contemporaries who believed he had slandered the race by depicting Harlem life as a drunken orgy.

Nella Larsen was a part of a counter-narrative about the black experience, and because African Americans had been painted as uneducated and deceptive people up to that point, many black intellectuals and people of prominence despised narratives that cast the black community in any light other than the bubble of upright and supposedly venerable people.

Larsen, who had a reputation for being extremely private about her past and life, began to open up after meeting a group of educated, light-skinned, and ambitious black women who visited Greenwich Village, New York's bohemian hotspot, as often as Harlem.

In 1928, Nella Larsen released her debut novel, Quicksand. The tale followed a bi-racial woman as she battled to avoid being imprisoned by unstable social circumstances. In her second work, "Passing," published in 1929, she depicts the story of two women who grew up together but married different men: one white and one black. Both female protagonists have the appearance of being Caucasian. Nella Larsen's works have been resurrected most recently in the black-and-white drama picture Passing, which was released in 2021. The film is based on Nella Larsen's 1929 novel of the same name, with the title referring to African-Americans whose skin tone was light enough to pass for white, a condition known as "passing." The film elevated Nella's work as a definitive conversation point on race and economics in contemporary America, while also illustrating that competing narratives existed during the Harlem Renaissance but were suppressed due to their contradiction with the movements' ideologies. "Passing" is available on Netflix.

For years, Nella's writing received less attention than that of her contemporaries, but with the release of the film adaptation of her novel, more people are getting acquainted with the bohemian Harlem Renaissance author. Nella died of a heart attack in her apartment on March 30, 1964. She was 72 years old.

NPR Essay. 'Passing' — the original 1929 novel — is disturbingly brilliant

Classroom Resources. American Passages: A Literary Survey

Biography Notes. Nella Larsen, Author of Passing & Quicksand

Youtube Trailer. Passing | Official Trailer | Netflix

2022 Black History Month - People of the Caribbean and its Diaspora in African American History

Feb. 1, 2022, 9:16 a.m.

People of the Caribbean and Its Diaspora in African American History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caribbean people, notably Afro Caribbean individuals in the black equity movements, have long been a part of shaping the United States' social and intellectual advancement. This year, the Virgin Islands Department of Education's Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education is honoring eleven Afro Caribbean individuals who shaped the political and social environment of the United States. Arturo A Schomburg and Nella Larsen both have close ties to the Virgin Islands, having their parents originate in the Danish West Indies, also known as the Virgin Islands of the United States. Arturo A. Schomburg founded the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research library within the New York Public Library with a collection of over 11 million items. Additionally, Nella Larsen's works were recently resurrected in the black-and-white drama film Passing, which was released in 2021. The film is based on Nella Larsen's 1929 novel of the same name, and the title refers to African-Americans whose skin tone was light enough to be recognized as white, a condition known as "passing." The Division will include biographies of the following Caribbean activists, writers, entertainers, and visual artists throughout the month: Kwame Ture/Stokley Carmichael, Arturo A. Schomburg, Nella Larsen, Sidney Poitier, Marcus Garvey, Amanda Seales, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Grandmaster Flash, Edwidge Dandicat, and Roxanee Gay are all featured in the 2022 series.

 

 

People of the Caribbean in African American History: Arturo A. Schomburg

Feb. 1, 2022, 8:46 a.m.

Arturo A. Schomburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was born in January 10, 1874, in Santurce, Puerto Rico to Maria Josefa, a Black midwife from St. Croix, and Carlos Federico Schomburg, a merchant and son of a German immigrant to Puerto Rico. During Schomburg's elementary school years, one of his teachers asserted that Blacks lacked history, heroes, and accomplishments. Schomburg resolved to prove the teacher wrong by locating and documenting the accomplishments of Africans on their own continent and in the diaspora.

 In 1891, Schomburg relocated to New York City, New York. He was a leader in the Puerto Rican and Cuban liberation movements and formed Las dos Antillas, a cultural and political organization dedicated to the islands' independence. Schomburg, disillusioned by the failure of the Cuban revolutionary movement and the cession of Puerto Rico to the United States, shifted his focus to the African American community. Schomburg was a pivotal intellectual figure during the Harlem Renaissance, dedicated his life to promoting Black history.   

While Schomburg was able to obtain jobs that were previously unavailable to other Black people due to discrimination, he continued to face racism.  Schomburg held a variety of jobs, including elevator operator, printer, Spanish teacher, porter, and clerk at a law firm. Schomburg attended evening classes at Manhattan Central High School for a portion of his early years in New York.

Schomburg coined the term "afroborinqueno" while residing in Harlem to honor his African ancestry as a Latino. According to the Schomburg Center, a branch of the New York Public Library, black people faced severe discrimination in New York City in the 1890s and early 1900s. The center notes that they were "denied employment as longshoremen, street cleaners, baggage handlers, cement carriers, and garment workers."

Schomburg's essay "The Negro Digs Up His Past" appeared in a Survey Graphic special issue. The journal emphasized sociological and political research and analysis of national and international issues. Schomburg promoted African-American writers' artistic endeavors through the publication. Later in the year, the essay was included in Alain Locke's anthology "The New Negro." Schomburg's essay influenced a large number of African-Americans to begin researching their ancestors. Schomburg wrote in it that "Black people must delve deeply into their own history in order to affirm their identity in the face of persistent oppression."

Schomburg's collection of literature, art, and other artifacts was purchased by the New York Public Library for $10,000 in 1926. Schomburg was appointed curator of the Schomburg Collection of African-American Literature and Art at the New York Public Library's 135th Street branch. Schomburg used the proceeds from the sale of his collection to expand the collection by traveling to Spain, France, Germany, England, and Cuba to acquire additional artifacts of African history. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is now one of the foremost research libraries devoted to the African diaspora. 

Schomburg was also named curator of the Negro Collection at Fisk University's library, in addition to his position at the New York Public Library. When Schomburg began building the library in 1929, Thomas E. Jones was president of Fisk in Nashville, Tennessee. He collaborated with his close friend, sociologist Charles S. Johnson, to repeat his work in New York by establishing a black archive in Fisk University's Cravath Hall, complete with a reading room. According to researchers, at the period, black students were encouraged to attend trade schools rather than read for leisure. Fisk established a reading room for Schomburg's students in order to "instill a desire" for leisure reading.

The whole Black history collection of the New York Public Library was designated the Schomburg Collection in 1940. The library's 135th Street branch was renamed the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 1972. The Center is home to 10 million items.

Resources:

Reading. Antillano, Negro, and Puerto Rican in New York 1891-1938: 

Podcast. In to America: Harlem On My Mind: Arturo Schomburg

Essay. The Negro Digs Up His Past (1925)

Podcast. Harlem on My Mind: Arturo Schomburg | Into America Podcast – Ep. 101 | MSNBC

Common Core Classroom Discussion. Discussion Questions

 

 

 

People of the Caribbean in African American History: Kwame Ture/ Stokely Carmichael

Jan. 26, 2022, 8:53 a.m.

Stokely Carmichael

Information collected from History.com and “Stokely: A Life,” by historian Peniel E. Joseph 

Kwame Ture/ Stokely Carmichael

Stokely Carmichael was a civil rights leader in the United States who coined the rallying cry for Black nationalism, "Black Power," in the 1960s. He arrived in New York City in 1952, having been born in Trinidad. He joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while a student at Howard University and was arrested for his involvement with the Freedom Riders. He departed from MLK Jr.'s approach to self-defense, which was nonviolent.

Stokely Carmichael was only nineteen years old when he took part in the 1961 Freedom Rides; he became the youngest person ever imprisoned for his participation when he was jailed attempting to integrate a "whites only" cafeteria in Jackson, Mississippi.

Stokely Carmichael became an American citizen in 1954, when he was 13 years old, and his family relocated to Morris Park in the Bronx, a primarily Italian and Jewish neighborhood. Carmichael quickly rose to prominence as the only Black member of the Morris Park Dukes street gang. In 1956, he passed the admissions test to the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, where he met a completely new social group—the offspring of New York City's wealthy white liberal elite. Carmichael was well-liked by his new classmates; he frequently attended parties and dated white women. He was, however, acutely aware of the racial distinctions that separated him from his classmates even at that young age. Carmichael subsequently reflected on his high school friendships, saying, "Now that I see how phony they all were, how much I despise myself for it." With these cats, being liberal was a game of intellect. "They were still white, and I was Black.”

Although Carmichael had been aware of the American civil rights battle for years, it wasn't until he saw images of a sit-in on television toward the end of high school that he felt motivated to join the struggle. "When I first heard about the Negroes sitting in at lunch counters down South,” he later recalled, “I thought they were just a bunch of publicity hounds. But one night when I saw those young kids on TV, getting back up on the lunch counter stools after being knocked off them, sugar in their eyes, ketchup in their hair—well, something happened to me. Suddenly I was burning. " He joined the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), picketed a New York Woolworth's store, and traveled to Virginia and South Carolina sit-ins.

After graduating from high school in 1960, Carmichael was offered scholarships to a range of elite primarily white universities. He instead elected to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., which has a predominantly Black student body. He majored in philosophy at the university, where he studied the writings of Camus, Sartre, and Santayana, as well as ways to apply their theoretical frameworks to the civil rights movement's problems. Simultaneously, Carmichael increased his involvement with the movement as a whole. He embarked on his first Freedom Ride as a freshman in 1961, an integrated bus journey through the South to protest interstate travel segregation. He was caught in Jackson, Mississippi, during that trip and imprisoned for 49 days for entering the "whites only" bus stop waiting area. Carmichael persisted in his activism throughout his undergraduate years, taking part in another Freedom Ride in Maryland, a demonstration in Georgia, and a hospital workers' strike in New York. In 1964, he earned an honors degree from Howard University. Carmichael dropped out of school during a pivotal time in the civil rights movement's history. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) called 1964's summer "Freedom Summer," launching an aggressive voter registration campaign in the Deep South. Carmichael joined SNCC as a recent college graduate, quickly advancing to the position of field organizer for Lowndes County, Alabama, by his eloquence and natural leadership abilities. When Carmichael moved to Lowndes County in 1965, African Americans were the majority of the population but were completely unrepresented in government. Carmichael increased the number of registered Black voters in the county from 70 to 2,600 in one year, 300 more than the registered white voters.

Carmichael created the Lowndes County Freedom Organization after being dissatisfied with the responses of either of the main political parties to his registration efforts. To comply with a requirement that all political parties have an official logo, he chose a Black panther, which eventually inspired the Black Panthers (another Black activist movement created in Oakland, California).

Carmichael committed at this point in his life to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s ideology of peaceful resistance. Along with moral objection to violence, proponents of nonviolent resistance felt that the method would increase public support for civil rights by establishing a stark contrast—captured on nightly television—between the peaceful protestors and the police and hecklers opposing them. Carmichael, like many other young activists, got dissatisfied with the slow pace of change and with having to undergo repeated acts of violence and humiliation at the hands of white police officers.

By the time Carmichael was chosen national head of the SNCC in May 1966, he had essentially abandoned the idea of peaceful resistance to which he — and SNCC — had formerly subscribed. As chairman, he steered the SNCC in a rather radical direction, signaling that white members, who had been actively recruited, were no longer welcome. Carmichael's term as chairman — and arguably his life — was defined barely weeks after he assumed leadership of the organization. In June 1966, James Meredith, a civil rights activist and the University of Mississippi's first Black student, began on a solitary "Walk Against Fear" from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi. Meredith was shot and rendered unable of continuing around 20 miles into Mississippi. Carmichael determined that SNCC volunteers should continue the march in his stead, and upon reaching Greenwood, Mississippi, on June 16, a furious Carmichael delivered the address for which he would be most remembered. "For six years, we've been chanting 'liberty,'" he explained. "From now on, we will refer to ourselves as 'Black Power.'"

The term "Black power" soon gained popularity as a rallying cry for a younger, more militant generation of civil rights workers. Internationally, the term gained currency as a rallying cry against European colonization in Africa. Carmichael defined Black power in 1968 in his book Black Power: The Politics of Liberation: "It is a call for Black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community. It is a call for Black people to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations. "

Carmichael's embrace of black power also marked a departure from King's nonviolent approach and its ultimate objective of racial integration. Rather than that, he identified the phrase with Malcolm X's philosophy of Black separatism. "When you talk of Black power, you talk of building a movement that will smash everything Western civilization has created," Carmichael stated in one address. Unsurprisingly, the shift to Black power was divisive, instilling dread in many white Americans, even those previously sympathetic to the civil rights movement, and deepening divisions within the movement between elder proponents of nonviolence and younger separatists. Martin Luther King referred to Black power as "an unfortunate choice of words."

In 1967, Carmichael embarked on a life-changing journey, visiting revolutionary leaders in Cuba, North Vietnam, China, and Guinea. He resigned the SNCC and became Prime Minister of the more radical Black Panthers upon his return to the United States. He then spent the next two years traveling the country and publishing writings on Black nationalism, Black separatism, and, increasingly, pan-Africanism, the latter of which became Carmichael's life cause. Carmichael left the Black Panthers and relocated to Conakry, Guinea, in 1969, dedicating his life to the cause of pan-African unification. "America does not belong to Black people," he stated as his reason for leaving the country. Carmichael changed his name to Kwame Toure in honor to two controversial African leaders, Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah and Guinea's Sekou.

Miriam Makeba, a South African singer, married Carmichael in 1968. He later married Marlyatou Barry, a Guinean physician, following their divorce. Carmichael spent the remainder of his life in Guinea, despite numerous journeys to the United States to espouse pan-Africanism as the only true way to liberation for Black people worldwide. Prostate cancer was diagnosed in 1985 for Carmichael.  According to historian Peniel E. Joseph, Ture has received less attention than some other civil rights leaders, largely because he went to Africa and was not martyred like Dr. King and Malcolm X, both killed at 39.  Mr. Joseph said in on online publication that the complexity of Ture “makes him a difficult subject."

Resource:

Critical Thinking:  "Stokely: A Life" - A Conversation Between Peniel Joseph and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 

Document. What We Want - Kwame Touré (Stokely Carmichael) Speech

Discussion. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/document/black-power/

Youtube News Report. What's in a Name? ft. Kwame Ture (1989)

Youtube Interview. Eyes on the Prize: Kwame Ture Interview (1986)

Reading. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/stokely-carmichael

Audio. 4 Minute Listen: Stokely Carmichael, A Philosopher Behind The Black Power Movement 

PBS News Report. Beyond ‘Black Power,’ recounting the under-told story of Stokely Carmichael

African American History and Culture Museum Virtual Museum Tour

Jan. 25, 2022, 12:17 p.m.

Smithsonian - 

 African American History and Culture Museum

Community + Conversation with a Docent, Creative Griots

Wednesday, February 2 | 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Virtual visitors have an opportunity to engage in a conversational journey with a museum docent.  You’ll discover how identity, politics, and creativity are articulated through African American performance, music, cultural expressions, and the visual arts. We will explore the ways African Americans have harnessed these elements to fuel social change while creating a vibrant culture that extends to the African Diaspora.

Our virtual guided programs are a wonderful way for adults and college students to enjoy the museum from home, in the office or at school and to participate in a fun and interactive learning environment. Using the online meeting platform Zoom, participants can examine and respond to objects in the museum. To participate in this program, you must have access to a device with Zoom capabilities (including a microphone, speaker, and camera) and a reliable internet connection.

Exhibition Experience:  Visual Arts

 

Sponsor:African American History and Culture Museum
Venue:African American History and Culture Museum
Event Location:Online
Cost:This program is free for participants. Registration is required as space is limited to 50 guests.
Get Tickets or Register:https://smithsonian.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_l_3j8LIeSJSRtKPZY65opw

Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts Workshops

Jan. 14, 2022, 9:38 a.m.

Art @ Home 1

Art @ Home
Wednesday Jan 26 & Thursday Jan 27
4-5pm/ Free Zoom
Age 12-18
Sharonda "Eccentrich" Richardson is currently the 14th ranked female poet in the world according to her placement during the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2017. Eccentrich is a member of the celebrated spoken word team, Dada, who finished 1st in the nation during the 2017 National Poetry Slam.

 

Art @ Home 2

Saturday Workshops at CMCArts Courtyard
Limited to 10 students each session
Youth Workshop Jan 22/ Age 8-12
Teen Workshop Jan 29/ Age 13-18
$10 
Students will paint on canvas with artist Tamara Michael.  The student's work will be considered for an upcoming juried Moko Jumbie Exhibition with professional artist. 
 

Art @ Home 3

Wednesday, Jan 19
Exploring Career Pathways: Music Producer with James "Jamaki" Knight/ Central HS Graduate
Free Zoom/4-5pm
K-12th Grade ( You can never start too early in discussing potential careers.)
In this zoom, students will find out about the music industry. James "Jamaki" Knight will share his music story and take questions from the students. At the end of the zoom he will give the students a music challenge. The students will have a week to work on their song. The winner will receive $150 gift certificate. All the students who attend the zoom session their names will be put in a drawing for $75 gift certificate. Students get to choose from Riddims Music Store or Frame Up (art supplies) for their gift certificate.

Art for Activism Project: "I Am David Hamilton Jackson" Online Student Exhibit

Jan. 12, 2022, 12:19 p.m.

View Student Exhibit

Students have the opportunity to envision themselves as social justice warriors and to embody the spirit of Virgin Islands leader and activist David Hamilton Jackson through various mediums of art.

I Am David Hamilton Jackson Art for Activism Student Montage

 

We are ecstatic and grateful for your recent participation in the “I Am David Hamilton Jackson- Art for Activism Project.” Your creativity showed that you were able to draw on the experiences of David Hamilton Jackson to develop your own perspectives and understanding of how to challenge social injustices through academic work and art. This Art for Activism project is a collaboration between the Virgin Islands Department of Education – Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education and the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources- Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums.

David Hamilton Jackson was a valiant defender of equity, who fought for a free press, better-working and living conditions, and constitutional rights in the U.S. Virgin Islands during the territory's United States naval rule. Mr. Jackson and many of his peers, who were also labor leaders, laid the groundwork for other labor movements in the Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean.

We hope that your participation in the "I Am David Hamilton Jackson- Art for Activism Project" has inspired you to take action to improve your community and the world. Your work is displayed on the front page of the Virgin Islands Department of Education's website, www.vide.vi, as part of the online "Art for Activism" exhibit. The DLAM at DPNR compiled a video of student visual art works and displayed it as part of the DLAM's Christmas pop-up on Sunday, December 19th. Both DVICE and DLAM will screen the video once more during Youth Art Week in March at the Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism Building

Recognize labor unions and Dr. Martin Luther King's pro-union advocacy.

Jan. 12, 2022, 12:08 p.m.

Recognize labor unions and Dr. Martin Luther King's pro-union advocacy.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a legal holiday in the Virgin Islands of the United States and is the first location, place, territory, or state to do so. Martin Luther King is widely recognized for his work in the African American community in alleviating racial inequalities in the United States; however, King was also an activist for fair labor and a strong supporter of labor unions. Aligned with the movements King participated in, the Virgin Islands boasts one of the Caribbean's earliest legally recognized and documented labor movements.

The St. Croix Labor Union, led by David Hamilton Jackson and a number of his contemporaries, including Ralph deChabert, was influential. Rather than resort to physical altercation and risk of loss, organized strikes were used to demand more equitable wages and living conditions in 1916, an eventful year for labor movements in the then-Danish West Indies. The most notabale labor uprising in the territory is arguably the 1878 Revolution, also known as the “Fireburn,” which occurred for a variety of reasons, but most notably, workers were trapped by inequitable labor laws that kept many members of the African Diaspora in conditions closely related to slavery, which was toppled forcibly 30 years earlier in 1848. Following the 1878 Fireburn, which is also examined as a labor riot, the port of St. Thomas established dominance in the coaling industry, with numerous coaling companies establishing coal depots in the vicinity of St. Thomas' harbor. Both men and women from the community worked for these businesses, and the work was strenuous. While still subject to Danish colonial rule, workers in St. Thomas were compensated in the depreciating Mexican dollar. On September 12, 1892, coal miners declared a strike and demanded payment in Danish silver. Queen Coziah was a prominent strike leader, and before the strike devolved into violence and Danish soldiers were summoned to quell the workers, the coaling companies agreed to pay their workers in Danish silver.

Later, the St. Thomas labor union, led by George A. Moorehead, striked in October 1916, forcing three ships to reroute and seek coal from other harbors. The West India Company then reached an agreement with the St. Thomas labor union and began paying newly unionized workers higher wages. In 1916 as well, the St. Croix labor union organized a general strike among the workers, and after one month of action, significant results were achieved. The Union reached an agreement with the Planters' Society, and the minimum daily wage for a worker increased from 25 cents to 35 cents.

The Virgin Islands of the United States recognized the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King's work in the field of labor relations and pushed for MLK Day to be recognized first in the territory before it was recognized by any other state or country. Martin Luther King Jr. on March 29, 1968 traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of a local labor union representing black sanitary public works employees. Workers were on strike in demand of higher wages and better working conditions. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down on Thursday, April 4, 1968, while standing on the second-floor balcony of a Memphis motel. The Virgin Islands remembers and celebrates the works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

David Hamilton Jackson Month - "Do My People Do"

Nov. 23, 2021, 10:51 a.m.

David Hamilton Jackson

Students have the opportunity to envision themselves as social justice warriors and to embody the spirit of Virgin Islands leader and activist David Hamilton Jackson through the Art for Activism project "I am David Hamilton Jackson."  

The Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education of the Virgin Islands Department of Education and the Division of Library, Archives, and Museums of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources are inviting students to create works inspired by David Hamilton Jackson's activism. November has been designated as the official month to honor Jackson's lifetime achievements in advancing the right to freedom of the press, voting rights, higher wages, worker's rights, and organizing the territory's first labor union, which enabled him to campaign for human rights and gain greater self-governance in an era when racial inequality was intolerable for the vast majority of Black Virgin Islanders. 

Since the Project's announcement on David Hamilton Jackson Day, also known as Liberty Day, both agencies have held a virtual meeting, which was attended by over 170 students. Students may choose from a variety of mediums to create their symbolic works, which may include the following:  

  • Drawing a self-portrait or creating a mixed media artwork,  
  • A monologue or play via Tik Tok or another video app  
  • Digital art, animation, or photography  

The project teaches students about historical injustices and how to identify and act on contemporary issues affecting themselves, their local and global communities.  

A third creative session on the TEAMS app will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021. Invitations will be sent via VIDE's internal email system and to interested private schools.  

In Early December, the project will be exhibited virtually for the community to view. The deadline for this project is Tuesday, November 30th, 2021. Students may submit their work to their teachers, guidance counselors, or to the representatives of the coordinating agencies whose email addresses are listed below.

Stephanie.cbrown@vide.vi. or monica.marin@dpnr.vi.gov.

2021 V.I. Government House D. Hamilton Jackson Day Ceremony

 

 

 

NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH -NOVEMBER

Nov. 23, 2021, 10:39 a.m.

National Native American Heritage Month during November celebrates the diverse and rich culture, history, and traditions of Native people. The observance is also a time to educate anyone and everyone about the different tribes, raise awareness about the struggles native people faced as well as in the present. American Indian pictures, words, names, and stories are a crucial part of American history and help mold our life today. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth

Use #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth to post on social media. Keep Native American Heritage alive this November, and for all the months to follow! Here are a few ways you can celebrate this month.

  1. Read a Native American history book, or a novel that dives into the history and traditions of native people. Movies like Pocahontas tend to sensationalize truth about Native American history, so reading a book will likely give you a more realistic vision.
  2. Play a game of lacrosse! Believe it or not, lacross was one variety of indigenous stickball games the American Indians played as early as the 12th century.
  3. There are a few movies made about Native Americans that aren’t as oversensationalized and are definitely worth a watch. Try Reel Injun, Smoke Signals, Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, and Winter in the Blood. 
  4. Get in the kitchen and try a native recipe! There are tons of mouthwatering recipes from native soups, to roasted duck, or even pumpkin bread for a tasty fall treat.
  5. Finally, learn the true story about the very first thanksgiving. 

RESOURCES

Library of Congress: 

National Endowment for the Humanities:

Smithsonian:

National Education Association

Lesson Plans

Student-Centered Digital Learning Activities
Check out these digital education tools, lesson plans, and resources available for free and downloadable from the National Indian Education Association.

Interdisciplinary Stories, Webinars, Films, and Lesson Plans
The Global Oneness Project offers a library of multimedia stories comprised of award-winning films, photo essays, and essays, many with companion curriculum and discussion guides.

Create Your Own Native American Board Game
Students in grades K-5 research and use basic elements of a selected Native American tribe to create an original board game.

Native Americans Today
Students in grades 3-5 compare prior knowledge of Native Americans with information gathered while reading about contemporary Native Americans.

Alaska Native Stories: Using Narrative to Introduce Expository Text
Students in grades 3-5 use traditional stories of Native peoples to begin a study of animals in Alaska.

Amplify the Voices of Contemporary Native Peoples in Your Classroom
Through Illuminative's artwork and lesson plans, students will learn about six contemporary Indigenous changemakers fighting against invisibility and their many important contributions to this country.

A Story of Survival: The Wampanoag and the English
A Thanksgiving Lesson Plan Booklet from a Native American Perspective (Oklahoma City Public Schools)

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH - September 15 - October 15

Sept. 8, 2021, 11:40 a.m.

Beginning on September 15, and continuing through to October 15, we recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month. During the four weeks, celebrations honor the heritage and contributions made by members of the Hispanic community. President Lyndon Johnson first declared Hispanic Heritage Week in September of 1968. Please view the resources from the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

 

Hispanic Heritage Month Resources for Educators and Parents

National Hispanic Heritage Month is a period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States for recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

 

EDSITEment!

  • La Familia - K-5Even very young students know, and may occasionally use, words that are Spanish in origin—rodeo, tortilla, lasso, and macho, to name a few. And many are able to count from 1 to 10 in Spanish, due in large part to early exposure to the language provided by children's television programming. This sense of familiarity with Spanish, combined with the excellent language acquisition skills possessed by students in this age group, will help make this unit on Spanish culture an exciting but comfortable experience for your class. Students will learn about families in various Spanish cultures and gain a preliminary knowledge of the Spanish language, learning the Spanish names for various family members.

 

CBS News (7-12 grade band)

  • CBSN Originals | Fighting for Paradise: Puerto Rico’s Future
    In the midst of economic, political, and climate crises, Puerto Rico has lost nearly 12% of its population over the last decade, mostly to join the 6 million Puerto Rican diasporas now living in the 50 states. Tax incentives meant to lure investments have led some Puerto Ricans to fear that the island is turning into a fiscal paradise for wealthy outsiders, driving even more locals out. Many administrations have pushed for a more prosperous Puerto Rico, but they often blame the territorial status for falling short. Is statehood, independence, or something else the solution? And who gets to decide? CBSN Originals is our premium documentary series that is sure to challenge your views on this and a variety of other issues. See the full series library.

 

NPR (National Public Radio)

  • La Brega: Episode 1-7 (Available in both Spanish and English): WNYC Studios and Futuro Studios present "La Brega: Stories of the Puerto Rican Experience": a seven-part podcast series that uses narrative storytelling and investigative journalism to reflect and reveal how La Brega has defined so many aspects of life in Puerto Rico. Available in English and Spanish. Created by a collective of Puerto Rican journalists, producers, musicians and artists; presented by Alana Casanova-Burgess.

 

PBS (Public Broadcast System)

  • Latino Public Broadcasting Education Collection: This collection includes Lesson Plan (45), Video (30), Media Gallery (26), Document (13), Interactive Lesson (1), Interactive (1) for Grades 9-12, 6-8. Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is the leader in the development, production, acquisition, and distribution of film and digital cultural media that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to public broadcasting stations and other public media entities. Providing a voice for the diverse Latino community throughout the United States. LPB also partners with PBS Learning Media through the Latino Public Broadcasting Collection which offers educator guides, lesson plans, and other materials to engage students with the rich history of the Latino experience.

 

NEA (National Education Association)

  • Hispanic Heritage MonthCelebrate National Hispanic Heritage month with the following lessons, activities, videos, and more.

 

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

  • Hispanic Heritage Month Resources
  • Young Portrait Explorers - Hispanic Heritage Month: Virtual workshop of children 3-6 and adult companions as we learn about art, history, and more. Register to explore these portraits in thirty-minute programs incorporating close looking at portraiture as well as movement and art-making. See the schedule.
    • Marisol Escobar Sept. 22
    • Pedro Martinez Sept. 29
    • Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez Oct.6
    • Carmen Herrera Oct 13
  • Homegrown Concert: Cambalache
    Wednesday, September 29
    12:30 pm – 1:00 pm EDT – Virgin Islands
    Cambalache, named for a Spanish word that means "exchange," is a Chicano-Jarocho group based in East Los Angeles. Cambalache plays and promotes traditional son jarocho through performance, music workshops, and educational demonstrations. 
    Link to concert
  • A Celebration of Children’s and YA Latin American and Latinx Literature at the Library of Congress
    Monday, October 11
    6:00 – 7:00 pm EDT – Virgin Island

    Join the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress and Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) in a virtual celebration of children’s and YA Latin American and Latinx literature. Hear from authors and illustrators amplifying stories and voices from across Latin American and Latinx communities. Panelists Angela Burke Kunkel, Aida Salazar, Raúl The Third, Sili Recio, and Yamile Saied Méndez will share their creative processes, discuss where they find inspiration, and how they address difficult themes about Latin American and Latinx experiences in their work for young readers. We invite families, educators, and students to take part in this unique celebration during Hispanic Heritage Month. 
    Register for the event

 

Learning for Justice

  • Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Unmaking “Hispanic”: Teaching the Creation of Hispanic Identity: “Hispanic” heritage includes a diverse range of cultures, nationalities, histories, and identities. Link to resource.
  • Honoring LGBTQ Voices During Hispanic Heritage Month: Too often, curricula and media position racial and sexual identities as either-ors. Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to change that. Link to resource

Upcoming Observances: Virgin Islands Puerto Rico Friendship Day – Second Monday of October

Sept. 7, 2021, 1:03 p.m.

Virgin Islands – Puerto Rico Friendship Day is a public holiday celebrated in the Virgin Islands of the United States on the second Monday in October. Established in 1964 by Governor Paiewonsky, it honors Puerto Ricans who reside in or who have made substantial contributions to the Virgin Islands. The mainland of Puerto Rico lies approximately 40 miles from the US Virgin Islands with the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques in between and many Puerto Ricans have lived in the Virgin Islands since at least the turn of the twentieth century. As of 2010, around 10% of the population of the United States Virgin Islands. The date was chosen to fall on the same day as Columbus Day.

A large migration of Puerto families settled in the Virgin Islands starting in the 1920s. Earlier, Puerto Rican intellectual, medical doctor, and independence advocate Ramón Emeterio Betances took refuge from political discourse on the islands of St. Thomas. Betances penned the famous proclamation, "Los Diez Mandamientos de Los hombre Libres" (The Ten Commandments of Free Men), in Saint Thomas while in exile in November 1867. The proclamation is directly based on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, adopted by France's National Assembly in 1789, which contained the principles that inspired the French Revolution.

https://www.vide.vi/documents/cultural-education/2577-vi-pr-friendship-day-cultural-notebook/file.html