Education

Paget Primary embraces Black History Month

  • Judging history: Paget Primary students K’mori Chamberlain, left, and Azai Dyer show their exhibit to ombudsman Victoria Pearman (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Janiya Sealey, 8, and Zhen Wilson, 8, with Clyde Best (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • K’mori Chamberlain, left, Victoria Pearman and Azai Dyer (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Paget Primary School has been transformed into a museum to honour the achievements of black Bermudians.

Classrooms are now exhibits celebrating achievements and contributions during Black History Month.

Bermuda’s First Black History Museum recognises 11 individuals, including former professional footballer Clyde Best, ombudsman Victoria Pearman and Dame Lois Browne-Evans, former leader of the Progressive Labour Party. Bermuda pilots are also highlighted.

Several of those honoured, including Mr Best and Ms Pearman, attended the event.

Zhen Wilson, 8, said it was great to meet Mr Best and share information about him with those who visited the classroom.

He added: “It was important for me because we usually always learn about other people and not Bermudians.”

Janiya Sealy, 8, said: “When we do social studies, sometimes it’s not Bermudians. I’m proud that we had this.”

The P4 classmates served as tour guides for the exhibit devoted to Mr Best.

Azai Dyer, 7, said it had been fun to show people around his classroom, which is devoted to Ms Pearman.

K’mori Chamberlain, 7, said that it was important that others learnt more about the ombudsman’s accomplishments.

The P3 classmates donned black robes and white paper wigs as tour guides for the exhibit on Ms Pearman.

Gina Cann, chairwoman of the school’s social studies committee, said the event was about celebrating the contributions and achievements of black Bermudians, many of whom “haven’t received the recognition that they truly deserve”.

Ms Cann said: “Many of our black Bermudians have paved the way for most of us, and some are still paving the way now.

“It’s definitely something that needs to be brought to light.”

She added: “So many of our students are well versed in African-American history. They all know about Martin Luther King Jr, they all know about Rosa Parks and former president Barack Obama, but when we ask them who Clyde Best or Victoria Pearman is, no one knows.

“This was something to shed light on these individuals.”

Ms Cann said that teachers had “jumped right on board” with the project, which had been planned in the past few weeks.

She explained: “They recognised that we need to get our students understanding and knowing those black Bermudians who have contributed to our society.

Ms Cann added the children had also been keen to take part.

She said: “The students love it, especially those classes in which the actual individual was able to come into the class and speak to them.

“The majority of the individuals represented had to overcome so many different obstacles such as racism, so it is worthwhile for the students to see and hear an actual account.”

Diallo Rabain, Minister of Education, said he was overly impressed with the event.

Mr Rabain said: “Just seeing Paget Primary come together and put together this museum of Bermudian black history is something awesome. I’m totally blown away with what I see. I hope to see something like this in every other school in Bermuda.”

John Rankin, the Governor, said he was delighted to visit the museum.

Mr Rankin added: “This was an imaginative way to celebrate and learn about those black Bermudians, past and present, who have made a hugely positive difference within the community.

“My thanks to the pupils and teachers whom I met for their enthusiasm in showing me around the displays in each classroom and well done to all involved.”

Ms Cann said that David Burt, the Premier, was expected to visit the school today.