Creative Teacher Decorates Her Door To Celebrate Black History Month

Teachers are some of the most creative people on Earth. They come up with innovative ways to instruct their students every day. They somehow manage to maximize what little time they have in their limited schedules. And they even find engaging and resourceful ways to transform their often dull and dreary classrooms into attractive learning environments—all on a shoestring budget. Some teachers even go so far as to decorate their classroom doors, occasionally changing up how they look based on the time of year. Black History Month usually inspires an onslaught of creative door decorations from teachers across the country, and one New York City public school teacher decided to go all out for the special occasion.

Hollie Tibbs, a teacher at Public School 231 in Brooklyn, chose to transform her door into the likeness of a confident Black woman. “I wanted it to be a Black woman’s face,” Tibbs explains. “I wanted her to pay homage to all the other African Americans who were successful in their own right in various fields.”

The figure’s beautiful face dominates the door while her head full of coily black hair springs up the wall and to the ceiling. The construction paper curls are wrapped in gorgeous African fabric that serves as a headscarf, and its gold and purple design complements the woman’s gold hoop earrings made out of bulletin board trim. At the bottom of the door, her shirt stands out as a collage of black and white images featuring famous Black American leaders from history, including people like Harriet Tubman, Billie Holiday, the Tuskegee Airmen, and even former president Barack Obama.

With all the gluing, cutting, and stapling, the whole display took Tibbs about five hours to complete from start to finish. Her idea for the door was inspired by the artwork of Quillqueen—a talented Black artist that creates stunning portraits of Black women and accentuates their hair texture by using an intricate paper quilling technique. Tibbs thought the three-dimensional quality of the artist’s style would give an interesting tactile element to the door that would also be visually stimulating for her special-needs students. And since she was one of a team of five Black women who assisted the students in the classroom at the time, she also made it as a representation of them.

“I wanted to create a door that represented the African American women that work in the class with me,” Tibbs says. “I work with children with disabilities so the door needed to be a visual statement for them as a presentation of who they are as well.”

When Tibbs originally posted the photo of her door back in 2019, it immediately went viral, gaining thousands of likes and shares across several social media platforms. One admirer of the work even went so far as to call it an “inspirational creation.” Many teachers even responded with doors of their own, inspired by Tibbs' work of art. And thanks to the positive impact and viral internet popularity of creative Black History Month door decorations like Tibbs’, many schools have even started to implement annual Black History Month door decorating contests.

Regardless of the popularity or attention their artistic achievements might receive on the internet, the creativity and dedication of teachers like Tibbs—who go above and beyond for their students—is an inspiration in its own right. And these Black History Month door decorations are perfectly fitting homages to the pioneering change-makers of the past who blazed a trail for generations of Black people in America and around the world.

This creative teacher decorated her door for Black History Month and it went viral.


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A post shared by Blissful Chew (@hollie_blissfulchew)

Here are more incredible Black History Month door decorations created by teachers to celebrate African American heritage.


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A post shared by Deborah Parsons (@musicallymsp)


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A post shared by Chan Occena Davis (@takachanique)


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A post shared by Johanna McDaniel (@johannamcdaniel)


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A post shared by Jrue Mova💙 (@_lovelybridgette)


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A post shared by Huong Morgan (@mrs.morganart)


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A post shared by Chan Occena Davis (@takachanique)

h/t: [Reddit]

Related Articles:

Quilted Portraits Honor the Stories of Black Men and Women Who Are Forgotten by History

5-Year-Old Girl Recreates Photos of Inspiring Women Every Day of Black History Month

10 Groundbreaking African American Artists That Shaped History

12 Books You Should Read This Black History Month And All Year Long

Arnesia Young

Arnesia Young is a contributing writer for My Modern Met and an aspiring art historian. She holds a BA in Art History and Curatorial Studies with a minor in Design from Brigham Young University. With a love and passion for the arts, culture, and all things creative, she finds herself intrigued by the creative process and is constantly seeking new ways to explore and understand it.
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