Verbena High School hosts Black History ProgramBy Emily Etheredge Published 4:48pm Friday, February 22, 2013
Victoria Washington Peoples challenged students at Verbena High School Friday to “leave their mark on society.”
Peoples spoke to students during a special Black History Program to commemorate Black History Month.
Peoples, a former 1996 graduate of Verbena High School who is now a 10th grade English teacher for Dallas County High School, spoke on the importance of literacy by motivating students to journal.
Peoples told students it was journaling throughout high school for five minutes a day in her English classes that influenced her career in writing.
“You can write whatever you want to write about,” Peoples said. “It is a wonderful way to reflect back on how you have grown as a person.”
Peoples highlighted Olaudah Equiano, Phyllis Wheatley, Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass who became writers after experiencing slavery.
“Wheatley was the first black poet to publish a book,” Peoples said. “At 12 she was reading Greek and Latin. She wasn’t letting her situation get her down; she was focusing on education and being the best person she could be.”
Peoples told students to channel their energy from taking negative words and transforming them into positive ideas and thoughts.
“Writing gives you a voice and can be therapeutic and educational,” Peoples said. “Who is next in line to write your story?”
Verbena Assistant Principal Nichelle Bulger-Johnson said this is the second time Peoples has been invited to speak for the Black History Program.