Celebrating Black History Month: Rachel Brown-Miller

Feb. 24—EDITOR'S NOTE — In recognition of Black History Month, the MDJ is asking community leaders how they are celebrating and what the month means to them. Today we feature Rachel Brown-Miller, principal of Marietta's Dunleith Elementary School.

Dunleith Elementary Principal Rachel Brown-Miller said Black History Month is "a time to remember where we came from, and how far we've come, but most importantly, the work we still have to do."

That means reflecting on, celebrating, and recognizing ancestors and their achievements, she said.

"I have a teacher who is Afro-Cuban, and she's very proud of the heritage — her Cuban heritage and her African-American heritage," Brown-Miller said. "So it's a time to celebrate diversity, that we come from different places, different backgrounds, and we are so blessed to work together in a very diverse setting."

Dunleith has a student body which includes students who like to celebrate their heritage.

"I'm so, so grateful and humbled to work at Dunleith, and it's very important that we take this time to bring our community together," she said.

To recognize the month, Dunleith has an event scheduled for Monday afternoon. Students and staff will dress up as important Black figures from the past and present. There will be a duet performance of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," often referred to as the Black national anthem. The Marietta High School step team and dance team will also perform, and the Dunleith chorus will sing songs from around the world.

In her personal life, Brown-Miller is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation's oldest historically Black sorority, founded in 1908.

Brown-Miller on Friday was helping set up at the Cobb Galleria Centre for an annual Founders Day celebration of her local AKA chapter. There was a party Friday night, and on Saturday, a banquet. There, Brown-Miller and her sisters will recognize members such as their golden and diamond "sorors," who have spent 50 and 60 years in the organization, respectively.

"We are going all out ... we are setting up a huge banquet hall and we are really giving them the pink and green — because those are our colors — treatment," she said. "We're thanking them: thank you for your service to all mankind, thank you for allowing us to stand humbly on your shoulders, thank you for your commitment to our sorority, to each other, to your communities, to your churches, to your mosques, thank you so much. I haven't stopped smiling since I got here at about 12 today."