OPEN HOUSE!

This Thursday, February 23rd, from 6:00 to 7:30, is Open House at Sussman Middle School. Be sure to make plans to attend. You don’t want to miss this great opportunity to visit your teachers as well as see and be seen at the best middle school in Downey.

  • Highlights include:

    • Taco Truck

    • Almonds made fresh & served warm

    • ASB Bake Sale

    • Book Fair in the Library

    • New Spirit Wear just for girls

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WHAT WE DID: 2/21

  • SEVENTH GRADE ENGLISH
    • New HRL: due Tuesday, 2/28
    • New AoW: annotations with text tags and commentary due 2/22
    • Invitation to Open House
  • HONORS ENGLISH 8
    • New HRL
    • New AoW: annotations with text tags and commentary due 2/22
    • Short expository essay on “Intersectionality”
  • ENGLISH 8
    • New HRL
    • New AoW: annotations with text tags and commentary due 2/22
    • Short expository essay on “Intersectionality”

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

On September 13, 1953, the New York Times featured the wedding of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier on the front page. The article contained a photograph of the bride’s intricate gown and a detailed description of its “ivory silk taffeta, embellished with interwoven bands of tucking, finished with a portrait neckline and a bouffant skirt.” The only thing missing from the coverage was the name of Ann Lowe, the dress designer.

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Ann Lowe’s story is remarkable. She was born in 1898, in Clayton, Alabama, the great granddaughter of a slave woman and plantation owner. With little more than a few years of education in the segregated schools of turn-of-the-century Alabama, sewing lessons from her mother and grandmother, and encouragement from her early clients, Lowe became a designing powerhouse. She learned her craft in her family’s custom dress shop in Alabama. Her mother died when she was just 16. At the age of 18, she moved to Florida in 1916, where she quickly became a premier custom dressmaker.

Her success in outfitting the debutantes of Tampa for their weddings and fancy dress balls allowed Lowe to move to Manhattan in the fall of 1927. “I just knew that if I could come to New York and make dresses for society people,” she said in an 1966 Oakland Tribune interview, “my dreams would be fulfilled.”

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Lowe designed dresses for other fashion houses at first, throughout the Great Depression and World War II, but by 1950, she was working steadily at her own Madison Avenue dress salon. Her elegant work was embraced by members of the Social Register, and in 1957, the New York Times celebrated Lowe as an expert in the field “who has been turning out impeccably dressed debutantes for twenty years, and charges up to $500 for her custom-made evening stunners.” Lowe’s gowns appeared with proper credit in VogueVanity Fair.and Town and Country magazines throughout the 1950s and 1960s. After closing her shop for financial reasons in 1960, she became a featured designer at the prestigious Adam Room at Saks Fifth Avenue. Lowe reopened her salon in 1964.

During a 1965 appearance on the Mike Douglas Show, Lowe explained that the driving force behind her work was not a quest for fame or fortune but a desire “to prove that a Negro can become a major dress designer.”

Lowe was also inspired by a true love for couture design and her lifelong exposure to custom dressmaking. “I feel so happy when I am making clothes,” she explained in the Oakland Tribune interview, “that I could just jump up and down with joy.”

Lowe’s dresses were important to her. “I like for my dresses to be admired,” she told the Saturday Evening Post in 1964. “I like to hear about it—the oohs and ahs as they come into the ballroom. Like when someone tells me, ‘the Ann Lowe dresses were doing all of the dancing at the cotillion last night.’ That’s what I like to hear.”

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Through the highs and lows of her groundbreaking career, Lowe continued to live simply, wearing her own designs and focusing on her work in her modest Harlem apartment until her retirement in 1972. Miss Lowe died in 1981.

 

PET APPRECIATION, CHERRY PIE, PRESIDENTS. TAKE YOUR PICK!

FEBRUARY 20TH IS PRESIDENTS’ DAY. IT IS ALWAYS CELEBRATED ON THE THIRD MONDAY IN FEBRUARY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN! HAPPY NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY!

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FEBRUARY 20TH IS ALSO NATIONAL CHERRY PIE DAY. 

It seems only right that we celebrate the cherry pie so close to Presidents Day as we all know the story (albeit untrue) of President George Washington and the cherry tree.  Cherries were, however, one of his favorite foods.

According to the American Pie Council, the pie came to America with the first English settlers.  The early colonists cooked their pies in long narrow pans calling them “coffyns” like the crust in England.  As in the Roman times, the early American pie crusts often were not eaten, but just designed to hold the filling during baking.  It was during the American Revolution that the term crust was used instead of “coffyn”.

In the United States, cherry pie is often referred to as a “great American dish”.  Recipe books have many different versions of recipes for cherry pie.

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FINALLY, FEBRUARY 20TH IS LOVE YOUR PET DAY. I THINK THIS ONE IS MY PERSONAL FAVORITE!

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BELOW ARE PICTURES OF MY PETS: RUBY, THEO, PEARL, & JASPER

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DON’T FORGET!!!

SEVENTH GRADE ENGLISH: YOUR ODE IN FINAL DRAFT FORM IS DUE ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST. IT MUST BE COLORED, DECORATED, AND DONE ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS.

ENGLISH 8 & HONORS ENGLISH 8: YOUR “SEEN/UNSEEN” INTERSECTIONALITY COLLAGE IS DUE ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST. IT MUST BE COLORED, DECORATED, AND DONE ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS.

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY WITH NOTABLE ANGELENOS

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Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952) was an African American actress, singer-songwriter, and comedian. She is best known for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first Academy Award won by an African American.

In addition to acting in many films, Miss McDaniel was a professional singer-songwriter, comedian, stage actress, radio performer, and television star; she was the first black woman to sing on the radio in the U.S. She appeared in over 300 films, although she received screen credits for only 80 or so.

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Miss McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood: one at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to radio and one at 1719 Vine Street for acting in motion pictures. In 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, and in 2006, she became the first black Oscar winner honored with a US postage stamp.

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WHAT WE DID: 2/17

  • SEVENTH GRADE ENGLISH
    • Continue working on odes – due Tuesday, 2/21
  • ENGLISH 8 & HONORS ENGLISH 8
    • Continue working on “seen/unseen” traits visual – due Tuesday, 2/21

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY WITH NOTABLE ANGELENOS

You may not know this, but the city of Los Angeles was founded in 1781, when California was part of Mexico. Extensive research uncovered that at least 26 of the  original 44 settlers had some degree of African ancestry.

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Arriving in Los Angeles shortly after the city’s settlement was Juan Francisco Reyes, a mulatto (mixed race) soldier from Zapotlán el Grande in Jalisco. He was both the first Black and the first Hispanic alcalde (or mayor) of Los Angeles from 1793 to 1795. Francisco Reyes was also the Spanish Crown’s first land grantee and the original grantee of the San Fernando Rancho – now the San Fernando Valley. Pictured (above from left) are his great-grandchildren: Margarita, Isidro, Jr., Francisca and Mariá Antonia Villa de Reyes, widow of Ysidro, Sr. who was grandson of Juan Francisco Reyes.

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The picture on the left is Refugio Reyes de Roberts, the great great grand daughter of Juan Francisco Reyes. On the left is Ysidro Reyes, Sr., his grandson.

In 1849, Californians sought statehood and, after heated debate in the U.S. Congress arising out of the slavery issue, California entered the Union as a free, nonslavery state by the Compromise of 1850. California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850.