Return to Headlines

A message from Dr. Gene on Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual recognition of Black excellence and the contributions to U.S. history! This practice started as a week-long celebration in 1926 amongst Black society and has been celebrated since 1976 by each U.S. president. Asheville City Schools strives to recognize and celebrate the contributions of African Americans both locally and nationally everyday throughout our commitment to equity centering racial equity. I would like to take a moment to recognize our Black students and staff for all the work they do, not just during the month of February but all year long. Schools are celebrating and lifting Black excellence through multiple different activities. Though these celebrations are looking vastly different in a remote environment, here are a few that are occurring: 

  • Claxton Elementary is doing daily segments on their Honeycomb Youtube News about Black Leaders nationally and locally
  • Montford North Star Academy teacher Sarah Armstrong is highlighting a Black author each week in their "What's The Best News" segment
  • Asheville Middle is dedicating each day to a different African American leader throughout history during their students morning “advisory” time
  • Asheville Primary is welcoming Bright Star Touring Company for a virtual performance of George Washington Carver and Friends

Contact your child’s school for more information on how they’re celebrating Black History Month. 

I am so proud of the work that was done to change the name of Vance Elementary to Lucy S. Herring Elementary. For fifty-two years Lucy Herring dedicated her life to teaching. We have a great relationship with our community partners and have been able to bring PODS to the different communities throughout town, as well as provide free wi-fi to our different housing authority locations. That’s something I haven’t seen anywhere else and we were able to get it accomplished in a few months to benefit our families. I believe recognizing Black excellence for our students, staff, and families is modeling how important equity is to ACS centering racial equity. It is important to showcase this history of Asheville, even though it doesn’t stop here. We still have a lot of work to do. 

For more information about Black History Month, visit:


-Dr. Gene