This teacher's viral door decoration highlights a gut-wrenching truth about slavery.

Black History Month reminds us that the story of America is not always told accurately or honestly.

The common saying "history is written by the victors" is not necessarily true. History is written by everyone. We have written narratives of the defeated, the oppressed, the commoners, and the enslaved—we just don't get to see those stories as often.

Perhaps it's more accurate to say that history is usually taught by the victors, which affects how stories get told, what parts are emphasized or deemphasized, and the language chosen to tell those stories. How history is shared and talked about and passed down through the generations makes a difference in how we view it.


A combination of historical white supremacy and shame over the truth about chattel slavery has caused American history to be whitewashed in many school textbooks. For example, some books repeatedly refer to people who were enslaved as "workers," which grossly dilutes the reality of what was done to them. Even the more accurate term "slaves" lessens those people's humanity and removes the fact that hey had identities and cultures outside of their violently enforced servitude.

Perhaps that's why this teacher's Black History Month door decoration has been shared more than 100,000 times on Facebook.

Jovan Bradshaw's door decoration highlights the vast human potential that was destroyed by slavery.

Bradshaw is a math teacher at Magnolia Middle School in Moss Point, Mississippi, a school where almost three quarters of the students are African American. For Black History Month, Bradshaw wrote a note to students on her door that read:

"Dear Students,

THEY DIDN'T STEAL SLAVES...They stole Scientists, Doctors, Architects, Teachers, Entrepreneurs, Astronomers, Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters, Etc. and MADE THEM SLAVES.

Sincerely,

Your Ancestors"

Stay dropping knowledge. Magnolia Middle School. Moss Point, MSQuote inspired by post from:Nadine Drayton-Keen gf.me/u/qr38ra

Posted by Jovan Bradshaw on Thursday, February 7, 2019

It's a simple but gut-wrenching account of the human cost of slavery, and a sobering reminder of the diversity of people's lives destroyed by its atrocities.

"Stay dropping knowledge," Bradshaw wrote on her Facebook share of the photo.

Bradshaw says the idea for the door started with a boy's comment in her class.

Bradshaw has been amazed by the response her door photo has gotten, and has said she simply wanted to shift her students' mindsets about the history of their ancestors.

“It all started with this little boy in my class,” Bradshaw told WLOX. “We were talking and he said, ‘Slaves didn’t do much because they couldn’t read or write.’ He kinda caught me off guard. I said, ‘Baby, if I snatched you up and dropped you off in China or Germany or Africa even, you wouldn’t be able to read and write their language either. Does that make you useless or any less educated?’”

So many of our African-American students don’t know where they come from," she continued. "All they are taught is slavery, the servitude side only. They need to know that we were great long before slavery. We built a country with our blood, sweat and tears, and the strength of our ancestors is why they can be great today. You have to see people who look like you contributing to society, and the African contribution is left out at school. I teach math, but I’m woke and I plan on waking up every student that comes through the halls of MMS.”

Bradshaw joked that she would have used a ruler if she'd known her door was going to go viral. But she has made one addition to the door to drive home the point for her students, written in red letters: "There is greatness in you!!"

Bradshaw has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to take students to the Black History Museum in Hattiesburg, MS and the Whitney Plantation in Wallace, LA, and to kickstart a business to "assist school districts in designing programs, activities, and curriculum that will allow the most growth of every student."

Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Sam Carter on Unsplash
white sheep on green grass during daytime

Heroes don't always wear capes. Some sport a viking beard with a tank top.

A video went viral on Twitter yesterday of a man who in my mind shall be called Sheep Thor. In the video, Sheep Thor steps out of his car after seeing a helpless lamb struggling to release itself from the death grip of a barbed wire fence. We see Sheep Thor step out of the car and grab both sides of the sheep with his bare hands, gently trying to pull it out.

Alas, no buck wouldn't budge. The camera zooms in on the poor beast, still stuck in the fence, and Sheep Thor gives a narration that would fill Crocodile Hunter fans with nostalgia. "So he's got this barbed wire here, he's got his horns caught behind the wire...gotta be careful." He then takes a horn and gingerly works it back through the wire. Despite Sheep Thor's requests to "hurry up buddy," the ram doesn't seem too keen on aiding his rescuer.

Keep Reading Show less