As we move toward implementing an anti-racism school district, we need to relook at what history is being told. Last summer I shocked but not surprised, to learn that there was no history of Harry Jerome being a teacher at Richmond Secondary. Not to mention he won the Olympic medal while teaching there! In July 2020, my friend Valerie Jerome and I started advocating to have Harry Jerome recognized.
Now, there is a framed photograph at Richmond Secondary. Students are already commenting on it! A few months ago, I also wrote to Templeton High School and Vancouver School Board so see if they can also do the same and go a step further and rename Templeton. Harry taught there for four years and was instrumental in the track development. According to historical records, William Templeton (Mayor of Vancouver 1897), killed himself when he lost the election, “was aggressive in personality and made fun of German accents”. Harry Jerome's legacy continues to inspire many children today.
We have an opportunity through community consultation to tell a different story through our school spaces, one that is representative to everyone in our community.
Here are the two news articles from last year: https://www.citynews1130.com/.../olympic-medallists.../... https://www.richmond-news.com/.../olympic-medallist-s... #bcblackhistory #richmondbc