20:26 GMT30 October 2020
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    Jovan Bradshaw, a sixth grade math teacher at Mississippi's Magnolia Middle School (MMS), went above and beyond last week when she taught her students a history lesson that's sure to stay with them for life.

    The instructor recently told local news station WLOX that it all began when a student made the remark that "slaves didn't do much because they couldn't read or write."

    "He kinda caught me off guard," Bradshaw recalled. "I said, ‘Baby, if I snatched you up and dropped you off in China or Germany or Africa even, you wouldn't be able to read and write their language either. Does that make you useless or any less educated?'"

    And with that, Bradshaw, who initially intended to place a poster on her classroom door of a black woman with natural hair, changed her mind. She instead decided to channel a message from poet and author Rev. Nadine Drayton-Keen.

    "His comment broke my heart, and I had to do something more," Bradshaw told Yahoo Lifestyle. "It was like a lightbulb going off for him. He understood."

    "Dear students, they didn't steal slaves," reads Bradshaw's poster. "They stole scientists, doctors, architects, teachers, entrepreneurs, astronomers, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, etc. and made them slaves."

    She signed off the message with, "Sincerely, your ancestors." An added edit made later said, "P.S. There is greatness in you!"

    Bradshaw's post has collected more than 104,000 shares and 14,000 reactions since going live on Facebook Thursday. "Stay dropping knowledge," she wrote as the post's caption.

    "So many of our African-American students don't know where they come from. All they are taught is slavery, the servitude side only," Bradshaw told WLOX. "They need to know that we were great long before slavery."

    "We built a country with our blood, sweat and tears, and the strength of our ancestors is why they can be great today. You have to see people who look like you contributing to society, and the African contribution is left out at school."

    "I teach math, but I'm woke, and I plan on waking up every student that comes through the halls of MMS," she added.


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    Slavery, history lesson, Classroom, Black History Month, Mississippi, US
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