RMS wins Humanities Texas Mini-Grant for ‘Africa in the Americas’ exhibit

Ridgeview Middle School received a $500 mini-grant from Humanities Texas to support the rental and display of an “Africa in the Americas” exhibit throughout February.

“Since many students may not have the opportunity to tour museums, I wanted to incorporate something at school that would greatly enhance what students are studying,” said Texas History Teacher Daisy Woods. “I wanted Ridgeview students to understand the scope of the slave trade and its impact. They made amazing learning connections during their tours.”

Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, produced the exhibit.

As part of the exhibit, various paintings, sketches, photographs, engravings and archived documents depict the origins and destinations of Africans between 1500 and 1800. The exhibition explores the lives of Africans during this time frame, with particular emphasis on how the slave trade created the prosperity of the New World and stamped the evolving society with aspects of their culture, according to the Humanities Texas website.

Woods applied for the Humanities Texas mini-grant, which funds costs associated with public humanities programs such as speakers and traveling exhibitions.

“We are so proud of Ms. Woods and her desire to write the grant,” said Principal Tiffany Spicer. “This proved to be an amazing opportunity for our students, teachers and our community. We were able to learn more about the history of America through multiple perspectives. We look forward to more grants and more opportunities for our students to learn and grow.”

All Ridgeview social studies classes toured the exhibit and participated in other related academic activities.

Since 1974, Humanities Texas has awarded more than 2,500 grants supporting a wide range of public humanities programs such as lectures, oral history projects, museum exhibitions, teacher institutes, reading programs and documentaries.