Can Art Inspire Change?

By N. Hamilton, BTW High School Newspaper

Did you know that creativity is the only real form of consciousness? Did you know that we spend majority of our time following rules, and completing automatic tasks via ingrained habits? It has been researched that once children reach the age of seven, which is determined to be the age of consciousness, that children are no longer in a stage of creativity. By this age, studies claim that children are believed to be living a life that is driven by daily completion exercises that fail to deeply engage the mind.

Xavier Taylor

At Booker T. Washington High School, we have decided to merge the two, Art and the Development of New Habits, to in order to create in-depth learning experiences. Our students are learning about The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey via daily reminders, videos, and art activities.

This leadership book was chosen by our very own principal, Dr. Carlos Phillips, to help our students understand the internal and external habits needed to become successful and to maintain success in a world where people of color are having a much more challenging time based on our current political environment.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People discusses the following habits in detail: Being Proactive (dealing with only what an individual has control over), Beginning with the End in Mind (creating vision plans and boards for their lives as a guideline to beginning with the end in mind), Putting First things First (deciding what is a priority and how to utilize time effectively), Thinking win-win (ensuring that all relationships an individual encounters dually beneficial), Seeking First to Understand, then to be Under-

stood (the idea of active listening without interruption when communicating is introduced), Synergizing (learning to accept ideas to create together, which is not a compromise, but a new idea or product), and finally Sharpening the Saw (continuous spiritual, personal, and intellectual development). Based on years of studying successful people, Covey found that each successful individual inhabited the previously mentioned Seven Habits.

As a staff, we had to ask our- selves, how do we pass this information on to our students in a way that they will remember? We decided the most memorable way would be via creativity. There is little that shapes the human experience as profoundly and pervasively as creativity. Creativity drives progress in every human endeavor, from the arts to the sciences, business, and technology. We celebrate and honor people for their creativity, identifying eminent individuals, as well as entire cultures and societies, in terms of their creative achievements. Creativity is the vehicle of self-expression and part of what makes us who we are.

Booker T. Washington has been blessed with one of the most prolific Art teachers in the state of Texas, Ms. Maya Watson, who has begin implementing The Seven Habits via artistic expression. Mrs. Watson was just selected as a Teacher Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, for the 2018-2021 academic year to research and explore teaching with works of art both in the Museum and in the classroom. Teacher Fellows are distinguished educators from the Houston metro area who have demonstrated leadership skills and a passion for innovative teaching and learning methods in their classrooms. The teachers are selected through their participation in other MFAH activities or recommended by museum staff members. Maya plays a critical role of the implementation of Art Excellence at Booker T. Washington High School, and within the learning landscape of the Houston com- munity. Ms. Waston has also been selected from a pool of over two-hundred Houston ISD Art teachers to display her art work through the HISD Visual Art Teacher Exhibition in the Original Alley Theatre in March of 2019.

Booker T. Washington is a campus full of unexposed gems, who are leading innovation, change, and inspiration to our African-American students!


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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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