When students demanded of City Schools: “Work to be actively pro-Black and anti-racist!”
A high school student’s photographs and description of last week’s youth-led march to Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters
Above: Baltimore native John Tyler performs original music and poetry in front of City Schools headquarters. (Sanaa Zoë Jackson)
The following photographs, captions and text are by Sanaa Zoë Jackson, who participated in last week’s youth-led protest in Baltimore. Jackson, 17, recently graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts and will be entering her freshman year at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Students, teachers, administrators, and supporters marched from Baltimore School for the Arts to Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) headquarters on North Avenue.
The protest, organized by students at Baltimore School for the Arts, demanded action from BCPSS and all schools a part of it.
They demanded that the schools work to be actively pro-black and anti-racist and that BCPSS show full and public support for the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The student speakers gave specific recommendations for how BCPSS can achieve this. They demanded more acknowledgement and preservation of Black mental health across all grades citywide and to educate its staff on this, to make continuous efforts to employ a higher percentage of Black social workers and counselors in schools.
They demanded that historical units be added to history and government classes on the institutionalized and systemic global oppression of Black people, and that more books like Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, The Autobiography of Malcolm X and others be added to the English curriculum.