Principal of Tennessee Middle School Apologizes for Choosing ‘All Lives Matter’ as the Theme for Black History Month

Illustration for article titled Principal of Tennessee Middle School Apologizes for Choosing ‘All Lives Matter’ as the Theme for Black History Month
Photo: BlurryMe (Shutterstock)

I bet you read that headline thinking “Aw shit, it’s dunk on some white folks time!” Well, uh, not exactly. It’s not that I have any moral objections to dunking on white people, it’s just that it wasn’t a white principal who decided to make “All Lives Matter” the theme for Black History Month at a Tennessee School.

According to CNN, Principal Christy Caldwell Drake is a Black woman. Yup, you read that right.

If you’re anything like me, your reaction to that fact looked a lot like this:

Gif: Giphy
Advertisement

Drake is principal of East Ridge Middle School in Chattanooga, Tenn., where there was some concern among parents when the school’s newsletter revealed that the theme for “Black History Month” would be “All Lives Matter.” In response to this concern, Drake issued an apology letter to the students and parents.

“I want to apologize for not more fully considering the context of that theme,” she wrote. “As a Black woman in leadership, I embrace civil rights, Black History Month and the sacrifices that have been made by those who came before me. I hope that my students, many of whom look like me, believe in the possibilities of their unlimited potential.”

She also explained that her choice for the theme stemmed from a mural at the school that says “Where Every Child Matters.” I just feel like all the principal had to do was drop the “where” from the slogan and she would’ve likely avoided having the whole school looking at her sideways.

“Whoever thought that was a good idea really just has refused to think critically about this or (is) willfully ignorant about it or just doesn’t want to educate themselves about it, and that disturbs me from the educators of my children,” Jessica Arnold, whose daughter attends the school, told WCRB.

Advertisement

I’m just, like, mad flummoxed y’all. As a rule, I generally don’t come for Black women unless their name rhymes with Blandest Bowens. But as a Black person, how do you not instinctively roll your eyes when you see the phrase “All Lives Matter?” I just rolled my eyes writing it! So I’m simply wondering why the principal didn’t feel the same.

Anyway, the school has dropped the theme and it’s unclear what the new one might be. At this point, they should just roll Our Friend, Martin, talk about how George Washington Carver was this close to discovering peanut-based time travel, hand out some Black Panther comics and call it a Black History Month.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`

DISCUSSION

thotlinebling
Thotline Bling: black girl supremacy

what a silly, silly woman. even “every child matters” is not a theme relevant to BLACK history month. i mean, damn!

february the ONE month a year where it’s (supposedly) publicly acceptable to shout out black people for their accomplishments.

yet for some reason, (internalized white supremacy??) folks still want to water black excellence down to make it more palatable to others?

WHY, tho?!