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Harlem Children’s Zone Celebrates Black History Month 2022

Promise Academy Scholars Dresses as Barack Obama for Black History Month

Every February, the U.S. celebrates Black History Month, honoring the contributions and sacrifices of Black Americans who molded our country’s culture and history.

No where is that celebration more vibrant than at Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ).

Across our 97-block Zone, we celebrate with history presentations and art projects, culinary workshops and dress-up days. As always, our talented scholars take the lead!

Here’s a look at how HCZ, a Black-led education and poverty-fighting organization in New York City, celebrated Black History Month:

Promise Academy After School Scholars Broadcast from the Cotton Club, Honor Black Renaissance Icons and Culinary Traditions

Our Promise Academy After School scholars took a trip back in time to a famed Harlem hotspot and a focal point for the Harlem Renaissance culture — with their video tribute to the Cotton Club.

Weaving together the musical, literary, and culinary traditions of the era, scholars put together a slickly produced video featuring singing, spoken word, dance, and even food. It was all seasoned with the vintage glamor of one of Harlem’s most historic nightclubs.

Scholars Pay Tribute to Historic Black Figures on Dress Up Days

Our Promise Academy Elementary School scholars were looking downright presidential! That’s because many dressed up as Barack Obama on the school’s day honoring our nation’s 44th and the first Black president. 

Our Promise Academy Middle School scholars had their own celebration, dressing up as iconic Black figures like First Lady Michelle Obama, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King, Jr. What’s more, many of our scholars showed off Black pride with African-inspired outfits and all-black attire.

Peacemakers Scholars Discover the Impact of Black Inventors

There might be a lot more traffic accidents if not for a pioneering Black inventor.

That’s what scholars learned about in a pre-engineering program focusing on the history of Black inventors. As part of the class, the scholars, who are in our Peacemakers program, created an infomercial-style video honoring Garrett Morgan, the creator of the traffic light.

Harlem Gems Preschoolers Honor their Heritage with Puppet Presentations

Our Harlem Gems Pre School scholars come from all over the world. During Black History Month, they learn not only about Black leaders from U.S. history, but also about leaders from their countries of origin.

Our little ones used their blossoming creativity and public speaking skills to design and present paper Heritage Dolls — with a little help from their parents! Their presentations focused on figures including Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman, and Juan Pablo Duarte.

Promise Academy Sports College Swag in Honor of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Divine 9

At Promise Academy, we believe that a college education is the best way to achieve our mission: end the cycle of intergenerational poverty. 

Naturally, scholars from our HCZ Promise Academy High School have college aspirations. They made that known on our day honoring Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the Divine 9. They rocked sweatshirts from their favorite universities, and our staff members got in on the fun, too!