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Black history for youngsters

Picayune school children learned about African American trailblazers from civil rights leader Malcolm X to Picayune educator J.P. Johnson as part of a story telling program for Black History Month.

Friday morning, six classes of Early Head Start students sat outside to listen to story telling from Vinner Scott.

Scott is the director of the Carver Cultural Museum and visits Picayune schools every year to teach students about Black historical figures.

Teacher Barbara Haralson said story telling events help young students, like her class of 3-year-olds, develop reading skills.

Scott asked which of the preschoolers wanted to be pilots. Eager hands shot up, resulting in Scott telling them about Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to hold a pilot’s license. She talked about baseball player Jackie Robinson, poet Phillis Wheatley and shared a map of Africa, with each country in the continent noted by its flag.
Scott encouraged the students to appreciate the city of Picayune.

“Let’s celebrate the legacy that was laid right here in Picayune,” said Scott, as she told the kids about J.P. Johnson, who was principal of the George Washington Carver High School and was well known for his leadership.

Scott shared pictures of the first African American U.S. President Barack Obama and the first African American vice-president and first female vice-president, Kamala Harris, along with an important message.

“You are somebody and you can be whoever you want to be.”