Friday, February 6, 2015

Black History Month


February is Black History Month.  Topeka Public Schools celebrates the diversity of our school district.  Throughout the month of February, schools will be holding activities related to Black History Month.

 At the February 5, board of education meeting, student winners of the Living the Dream contest were recognized.  TPS students won multiple awards in poetry, essay and art.  Board of education members heard a wonderful speech from Scott Dual Language magnet School 5th grader Deandre Hicks.  His speech can be seen on the Topeka Public Schools district website, www.topekapublicschools.net.

Pictures and stories related to Black History Month in Topeka Public Schools can be found by going to the school district's Facebook page.

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Did you know that African-American students make up 19% of the student population in Topeka Public Schools?

Did you know that Topeka Public Schools has had three African-American superintendents.  They are Marvin Edwards (1985-1988), Robert McFrazier (1999-2003) and Tony Sawyer (2003-2007).

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Ever wonder who invented the Super Soaker? Or who came up with the traffic lights system? Or who invented the pacemaker? They were all invented by African Americans. In honor of Black History Month, here are some everyday products you might not have realized came from the creative minds of African Americans:

The Hide-A-Bed

Sarah E. Goode was the very first African American woman to receive a patent. Originally born into a life of slavery, she moved to Chicago when she was freed after the American Civil War. After she made the move to Chicago, Goode married Archibald Goode who worked as a carpenter. Goode opened a furniture store, which would later spark her widely known invention. After hearing numerous complaints from customers about not having enough space in their homes for the necessary furniture, she came up with a folding cabinet bed. When the bed was put in the folded position it looked like a desk that even had several compartments for storage. Today we now have what we call the Murphy bed and the hide-away bed/couch as a product of Goode’s invention. Goode received patent #322,177 for her creation on July 14, 1885.



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More information about Black History Month will be added to this page throughout the month of February.