When school doesn’t acknowledge MLK Day, student takes Black history education into his own hands

When school doesn’t acknowledge MLK Day, student takes Black history education into his own hands

A 12-year-old boy frustrated by his Michigan school’s failure to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr. Day could have ignored the blunder. Instead, Ezra Tillman III, a student at Grand Blanc East Middle School, started a Black History Club and created 12 posters to educate the school about the work and accomplishments of Black people, WNEM-TV reported

“We raised our boys to take pride in who they are as a young African American boy who will soon be a young African American man, and just our culture and our history and the richness that comes with it. So, we’re just extremely proud for him,” Catrina Tillman, Ezra’s mother, told the news station.

Ezra’s dad, Pastor Ezra Tillman Jr., of First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, told WNEM he supports his son’s passion “because you can’t make passion.”  “It is something that is within,” he said. “And so, we’re proud to see that he’s another extension that will make a great contribution to our world,”

The school in Grand Blanc Township is located about 10 miles southeast of Flint, and the Tillman family has dedicated itself to improving conditions for Black residents disproportionally affected by the Flint water crisis. Mayor Sheldon Neeley awarded Tillman Jr. a key to the city last May after he founded the Revive Community Health Center to address health disparities facing people of color, according to MLive.com

Today on Our America I talk with Pastor Ezra Tillman and First Lady Catrina Tillman in Flint, Michigan. The city was hit hard by a devastating water crisis. In the darkest days of the Flint Water Crisis to today, the duo have been bright lights of hope: https://t.co/4Itw8RsxMI pic.twitter.com/OCoqCkgs2r

— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) September 17, 2020

The church also forged a partnership with 501CThree, a nonprofit founded by actor Jaden Smith, to equip the city with its first portable system to filter water, the news site reported. “This is a great honor. I am humbled by it and grateful,” Tillman Jr. told MLive.com. “It’s nice knowing your impact goes beyond what you think. I do anticipate doing greater things in the future, we are far from finished.”

Thank you @firsttrinitymbc and Catrina Tillman and Ezra Tillman for trusting my son and his team enough to serve the community of Flint through your church. #flintwillnotbeforgotten

— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) March 3, 2019

That much seems like a certainty, especially in reference to Ezra Tillman III. “I really thank my parents here for letting me have this opportunity to show other people and our school more about black history and African Americans, and I’m just very proud,” he told WNEM.  

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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