Last year, Chanique Davis, a Florida educator made headlines when she celebrated Black History Month in the most artistic way. After sharing a photo of her classroom door (decorated inspired by the month), Davis’ door was shared acrossed the globe and the second we laid eyes on it, we were left in complete awe. We sat down with Chanique to discuss what she has planned this year, her passion to empower her students about culture, and much more!
How did you react when you saw that your classroom door made headlines?
It really surprised me how quickly everything escalated with the door. My response was very surprised. My intention was just to create the door to bring awareness to my students and encourage Black History Month. When I saw that the door made headlines, it was really shocking and exciting for both me and my students.
Why is it so important for you as an educator to use art to empower your students and teach them about culture?
As an educator, I feel like it’s my job to teach students about culture so that they are more respectful, kind, and more tolerant of other’s differences. I believe that people are afraid of things they don’t understand. When I have children in my classroom for however many hours in a day, I feel like it’s my job to teach them about culture so that they are more respectful and accepting of people that are different from themselves.
What do you have planned for Black History Month this year?
I’m going to be doing my door for sure. I plan on doing a head wrap project with my students this year which is basically a project where I teach the students about head wraps and why black women wear them and how they are cultural for us. Because we’ve seen a lot of black women crowned this year for big titles, I would like to do a project centered around the different queens that have been crowned. Maybe I will do a project to honor Tyler Perry for his recent success with his studio.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
A lot of art! I am an independent artist first before I became an art teacher. I really want to do more with my own artwork. I’m going to be continuing to put out more material of mine as far as art goes. I’ll definitely be teaching my students about culture more and educate them on things of that nature.
As an artist, I’m a live painter. I just recently got the opportunity to be able to paint with Travis Greene, a gospel artist. I will be live painting with him at one of his concerts. It’s important for me because as a live artist that paints at different events, I’ll be doing more of that this year. You’ll see me painting live more!
I will eventually be creating my own website where my artwork will be available for sale. For right now, I’m selling my artwork through Instagram. I plan on doing more art shows and just putting my artwork out there more.
Featured Image by Urvick St Jean