Mrs. Obama seemed a bit surprised when the sixth- and seventh-graders from three local schools said yes, they knew slaves helped build the White House, that President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation upstairs in a bedroom named for him, and that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders met in the building with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson to discuss the end of segregation.
"So you guys know your history. That's a good thing," she said. "That means your parents and teachers are doing their jobs."
Mrs. Obama encouraged them to look beyond the names in the history books and to "think about the extraordinary people who live in your own world," like parents, grandparents and teachers, "all those folks who play important roles in black history and American history every single day."
Thursday, February 19, 2009
DC students take part in White House celebration
Students from Shaw and Stuart-Hobson middle schools, and KIPP DC: KEY Academy took part in a celebration at the White House hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama in celebration of Black History Month.