CLEVELAND — February is Black History Month. And what better way to learn about it, than to live it.
That's exactly what the boys at the Kenneth W. Clement Boys Leadership Academy in Cleveland are doing.
The boys in fourth through eighth grade have taken on roles. Each has studied an important man in Black History who has helped make this a better world. The men portrayed left something special for all of us. In this schoolboy lesson, there is the learning of accomplished people, inspiring these boys to see potential in themselves.
"They'll learn that there are many great contributions to the culture and the essence of this country," says Derrick Holifield, Principal of the Kenneth W. Clement Boys Leadership Academy.
The men themselves are here. Certainly, their spirits are in the room. At the Dr. Kenneth W. Clement Boys Leadership Academy, teachers and administrators stress history, as they should. The stories taught are of many people who achieved, even in spite of obstacles.
For the boys, the past can provide a road map to the present.
"Every young man sitting in this seat was born as a very important individual who can inspire people to do great things," Dean Ismail Douglas tells the students. "In you, there is greatness."
Whomever said history was old and dusty had it all wrong. You want to see history? Here it is. Living. Only a step way from yesterday or yesteryear. Regardless of time passed, what occurred then links us to today.
'If only these walls could talk,' we say. At Cleveland's Dr. Kenneth W. Clement Leadership Academy, they do. Simply listen and you'll hear the voices from the ages.
"I am Thurgood Marshall and I was the first African-American to the Supreme Court."
"My name is Carl B. Stokes and I was the first African-American mayor in an urban city."
"I am James Weldon Johnson and I created the Black National Anthem."
"My name is Barack Obama and I won the Nobel Peace Prize because of my efforts in international diplomacy."