NASCAR Black History Made in Jacksonville
Black History can be right in the faces of Black and Brown families,
students and people do not even know it. Black History Month 2022
was an opportunity for students at Twin Lakes Academy Middle to
learn and make history themselves. Studying Wendell Scott in
STEAM class, the first Black man to win a NASCAR sanctioned
race (Jacksonville 200) in Jacksonville, Florida on December 1, 1963.
Scott shattered history by winning a Grand National Race, this is
NASCAR at its highest level during that time and using this example
to teach students that they can overcome challenges in life to be
successful. It is not enough for me as their teacher to tell the
students using technology to show students examples and studying
about Black History. Students are learning Scott’s racing career was challenged by racial prejudice, Jim Crow laws and his life was threatened
even on the track by other racers that tried to run him off the road,
some were even successful.
The significance of this win and others during that time and even
today is that Black and Brown people can be successful in racing
careers. Teamwork is key and coordination of responsibilities for a
team to be successful at this high level of competition. Wendell
Scott was also the only Black NASCAR team owner which many in Jacksonville, both Black and White do not know.
As a STEAM Educator (33 years teaching) it is important that my
students see themselves in the diversity of all careers. Whether
they are Black, Brown, White, Hispanic, Mexican or LBGQ. No
student should be denied or kept from learning about their
cultural influences in this nation or globally.
Wendel Scott is just one example of many how Blacks have
contributed to the successes of many areas even in racing
and the NASCAR industry. Students learned that even in his
victory in Jacksonville Scott never was awarded a trophy, it
was not until 60 years later that his Jacksonville, Florida win
was posthumously awarded to his family.
The web site https://www.wendellscott.org/ tells more of the
story and to gain more information of Black drivers and pit crews
the web site by Stefan Young https://blacknascar.com/ shows
the faces and tells the stories of the present. Black NASCAR
web site shows the NFTs of students from TLAM and how they
were inspired by Scott and his journey.
Many students did not know that Wendell Scott was honored
in the Disney picture “Cars” (2006). The inspiration for the
character of “River Scott” and even in the film “Greased
Lightening” (1977) starring Richard Pryor.
If students are not engaged in historic learning activities,
history will not be known and not recognized across movies
and music platforms. Educational access in STEAM programs
are important to bring relational connections to learning.
Black, Brown, Hispanic, and even Asians have faced racism,
bigotry and violence against them in this nation. This should
not stop our youth, teens and young adults from fighting for
their dreams and working hard for success.
TLAM students have created NFTs in classroom projects
celebrating the life and legacy of Wendell Scott, using the
connections of technology, watching YouTube videos and
even connecting with the Wendell Scott Foundation that is
an advocate for STEM Education. The learning continues as
tech and art combines higher order and critical thinking skills.
NFTs are a great way to have students share their knowledge,
show their artistic talents and to show their innovation with
technology. Even though their works are academic and not for
sale, there is an influence of cryptocurrency, the influence of
Web 3.0 and digital tech.
TLAM students are preparing for their future careers that
will involve Web 3.0, NFTs, Cryptocurrency, Domain Names,
Game Development, Web Development and Medical Sciences.
STEAM Education and Learning are influencing many areas
and creating new careers for years to come.
|Students studying and creating NFTs like Scott’s example are
learning how to apply their knowledge to be business owners
and entrepreneurs. Scott was officially inducted into the NASCAR
Hall of Fame in 2015, becoming the first African American in
The Wendell Scott Foundation managed by CEO Warrick Scott,
provides educational programs designed for students ages 8
through 18 using STEM-related resources and programs. This
learning is provided to communities across the country and
shows the value of STEM, STEAM and STREAM Education
and Learning. William and Aida Jackson can be followed
on their web site as The XSTREAM TEAM https://williamdjackson.edublogs.org/