A New York City public school teacher’s classroom door decoration honoring Black History Month continues to inspire others nearly two years after she created it.
Back in 2019, Hollie Tubbs decided to create something spectacular for her special education students at Brooklyn’s Public School 231 to mark the month-long celebration of Black culture and history. Many of her students were autistic, so Tubbs knew she wanted her display to be three-dimensional and touchable so her students could fully enjoy it.
“I wanted it to be a black woman’s face,” Tubbs told the Daily News. “I wanted her to pay homage to all the other African-Americans who were successful in their own right in various fields.”
Tubbs used black and white photos of famous African-Americans to make the woman’s dress, and black construction paper to create her gorgeous, three-dimensional hairstyle, which she styled with a stunning scarf to set it off perfectly. She said it took her about five hours to put all of the elements together for the door.
The goal for the creation was for Tubbs to showcase the shared history of her educational team and have students appreciate how they are being taught by strong Black women. She was inspired by the work of artist Quill Queen.
“They can look at the door and it looks like a woman, and they are being taught and educated by woman educators,” said Tubbs.
Tubbs originally shared her artwork on Instagram, but it was quickly picked up and shared all over social media. Just a few days ago, Create-Abilities shared a photo of the masterpiece.
Reaction to the latest post quickly began to pour in as other teachers talked about how Tubbs’ classroom door display inspired them to create their own artistic tributes for Black History Month.
One teacher, Elizabeth Sánchez, said Tubbs’ artwork inspired her and her students to create a similar piece to represent Afro-Latinos.
Another teacher, Miriam De Leon, shared her Black History Month bulletin board, which called for students to aspire to be like Dr. Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and other notable people from Black history.
Facebook user AG Veschler posted a photo of a fellow teacher’s bulletin board which used a similar technique to Tubbs’ to create 3-D art.
Tubbs decided to use a closed door as a blank canvas to inspire others far beyond one month of the year, and others followed her example. She shows how a teacher’s creativity can open doors to a child’s mind.