We are so proud of our all of our participants in TEEM’s second annual Black History Month Contest, but special honor is due to our winners! Students were not judged by spelling and grammar, but by the inspirational tone of their submission. Please take a moment to read their poems, essays and view their illustrations of a Black American that has positively impacted their life!
Like a folded Picture kept in a pocket,
I see my grandmother’s face,
Wrinkled, shiny, but still a beautiful sight.
She once told me, you can be anything child.
Anything you heart wishes to be,
And if someone tells you; that ain’t for you:
Keep trying, don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do.
She lived in a time of segregation. When African Americans
Were looked upon as being inferior.
A time when our people was not free,
When signs and white authority told them who and what they could be.
A time when their voices and dreams were not heard.
And being black was not a thing of glee.
Through the strife of our people,
The mold has been broken,
There are no restraints,
Now we are free,
So with pride in my walk,
And power in my talk,
I will hold my head up high,
for all the world to see.
I will obtain my goal,
for I AM driven by determination,
And knowledge is my key.
When I first received this message,
From my grandmother.
I was immature, and found little meaning in her words.
I am a woman now, and I understand.
I see the power and significatance in the word she gave me.
So I will fight for what is right,
And die for what’s precious to me.
To my people… Black is beautiful!!!!!
So be all you can be,
Take a trip to the moon, explore the skies above,
Move a mountain or two.
When someone tells you that’s not for you!!!!
Just smile, and remember this message now, from me to you,
No one can tell you; what you can not do…..
Flight Line Briefing By LTC B.O. Davis
Historically in America, racism had always limited military participation for non-whites. Well into the 20th century segregation and limited advancement were rampant. This was especially true for the flying services. Eleanor Roosevelt insisted on flying with a civilian pilot at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in March of 1941 and fate intervened.
After Congress forced integration in the military services, the Army Air Corps established their all-black training facility at the Tuskegee Institute. Commanding the squadron formed was Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr. A West Point graduate, Col. Davis was known for strict discipline. He drove his men to excel as fighter pilots and officers. In combat, the “Red Tails” were a welcome sight to the crews of bombers they escorted. They earned the reputation of never losing an escorted bomber to enemy aircraft.
Col. Davis did what everyone watching said would be impossible. He is a positive influence to me because he successfully faced and over came his obstacles. Col Benjamin Davis’ example has shown me that it is possible to reach my goals if I try hard enough and stay with it.
Ophelia Helen Bridgewater Goodridge
There’s a lady that I have known for a long time a go. She was born May 25, 1905 in the State of Texas in the City of Wadesight.
Late after her mother died. I beleived that was in 1909. Then she moved to Missouri, later on she moved all over Oklahoma.
She finally made her home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She gave brith to three children, two girls, and one boy. One of her girls was born in Missouri, the other two children were born in Oklahoma.
Before the children ever thought about, she did marry to a saddleback rider, who later died…. I think here in Oklahoma, his last name was Goodridge. She had a sister, that was white skined and lived in Musokgee, Oklahoma, she died when she was one hundred and two years old. That was in year of 2004.
She is still walking around cooking for herself , and doing all the every day things that women normally do. The old lady is very God fearing. I love her for is my great grandmother and she is funny, speak her mind, I just love her so. The main reason is cause she has lived God fearing life and it’s a blessing that she is still here. Her name is Ophela Helen Bridgewater Goodridge.