School Me This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I am an honor roll student who spends my spare time studying and teaching Black History. It’s more than just a hobby, it’s my passion and calling.

In social studies, we are taught that black people were slaves. I know African-Americans were more than that, but I didn’t write the lesson plan. I wondered how I could get my peers to realize that much of what they use every day was invented by African-Americans.

It bothers me that my peers know every athlete and rapper’s name, but know little about our amazing achievements in science, math and engineering. When I noticed that teens dress like rap artists, an idea came to me: I imagined a creative, hip way to teach others about African-American ingenuity. I created an educational urban-style line of apparel named School Me: Clothing With A Little Knowledge.

I embellish jeans and tees with embroidered pictures of familiar items like traffic lights, potato chips, blue mailboxes, super soakers, peanut-butter sandwiches, spark plugs, pencil sharpeners, etc. Kids read my shirt and say, “School Me?” Then I have the chance to give a quick educational lesson about these African-American inventions. People of all ages are amazed by how much information can be learned from just a glance. Everybody pays attention to fashion and I’m the teacher!

For three years I have been speaking at local events while sharing my ideas in mini fashion shows. My goal is to dress a celebrity. With the support of the hip-hop community, I could reach millions of teens. When others recognize the contributions of African-Americans, they will have a better appreciation for my culture. One day I would like to be able to say that I created a trend that diversifies peoples’ options.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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