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Historymakers brings black leaders into Cleveland, Bedford schools

Education Desk | 10/23/2013, 10:36 a.m.
Area students recently heard the stories of Marcella Boyd Cox and other Cleveland-area HistoryMakers. As students began a new school ...
Paul Hill addressed students at Caldonia School

Chicago - Marcella Boyd Cox grew up in the Glenville community in Cleveland, the site of some of the nation’s worst racial unrest in the 1960s.

Cox was one of the students who helped integrate Collinwood Junior High School, which was met with widespread resistance. However, Cox took her studies seriously and her education led to her success as a funeral home director and a community activist.

Area students recently heard the stories of Marcella Boyd Cox and other Cleveland-area HistoryMakers. As students began a new school year, Cleveland HistoryMakers joined than 500 African American HistoryMakers nationwide for the 4th Annual Back to School With The HistoryMakers program, encouraging students to COMMIT to excellence and their education.

Cleveland HistoryMakers’ included Cox as well author and motivational speaker George Fraser, civic leader, social worker, social activist, and author Paul Hill; sculptor, art professor, and cultural heritage chief executive Edward Parker, aerospace engineer Woodrow Whitlow; and architects James Whitley and William Whitley.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan chaired the nationwide effort with the goal of having nearly 500 Black leaders go “back to school” in 68 cities and 30 states. This program put HistoryMakers in direct contact with over 25,000 students across the nation to tell their stories and to encourage youth to strive for excellence.

The theme of the day was COMMIT and Black leaders recounted their own school experiences and the struggles they encountered on their paths to success. They also encouraged students to COMMIT to their education.

“By bringing these living leaders into today’s educational system, we are raising awareness about the achievements of the accomplished African Americans in local communities and bringing these leaders into schools to see things firsthand, while providing important role models for today’s youth,” said

The HistoryMakers Founder and Executive Director, Julieanna Richardson.

Richardson encourages educators everywhere to use The HistoryMakers’ digital archive (www.thehistorymakers.com/digital-archive) to enrich their students’ exposure to the contributions of African Americans across the globe. This year, schools participating in the event will receive a free one-year membership for the digital archive, which includes extensive easy to access interviews with 310 individuals.

The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit dedicated to recording and preserving the personal histories of well-known and unsung African Americans. To date, the organization has interviewed over 2,000 HistoryMakers, with the goal of creating an archive of 5,000 interviews (30,000 hours) for the establishment of a one-of-a-kind digitalarchive.

For more information, visit The HistoryMakers website at www.thehistorymakers.com and

The HistoryMakers Education page at www.thehistorymakers.com/education