Through music, dance, and oral presentation, school children showcase what they learned about their African roots and heritage, slavery in the United States, civil rights, black power, racial discrimination, and achievements by black Americans, including Percy Lavon Julian, Jesse Owens, Dorie Miller, Gwendolyn Brooks, Harriet Tubman, Sidney Poitier, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Chisholm, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the students recites "What Should I Tell My Children Who are Black?" which was written by Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs. At the end, the students pledge "you and I are the adult black citizens of tomorrow . . .," and they state their names and what they are going to be (their future professional goals).
Stage performance. Part of ACM Museum Events, PR, and Ceremonies Recordings Record Group. Undated.
Birney Elementary School: We Only Just Begun, Record Group AV09-023, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
African American schools
African American youth
Civil rights movements
Civil rights leaders
African American history
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist at ACMarchives@si.edu