Birmingham City Board of Education, District 1
Bennie M. Holmes
Residence: Huffman area
Political experience: First run for public office.
Professional experience: Publisher, Metropolitan Black Business Network, 12 years; chief financial officer, trustee and founding member, Black Star Academy, the only African culture-centered school in Alabama, three years; curator, Birmingham’s African Holocaust Library, a private collection, 18 years; retired businessman of 35 years.
Civic experience: Chairman, annual Juneteenth/MAAFA Remembrance, 27 years; registered member, Black Alliance for Education Options.
Education: Attended primary, secondary school and college in Birmingham.
Top contributors: None filed.
Main issues: Holmes’ platform is based on a new way of thinking about educating African-American children and parents. If elected to the Birmingham school board, Holmes says he will advocate for African culture-centered curriculum including teaching materials and texts. He wants to promote hiring of culturally sensitive teachers and to revamp initiatives, training and professional development for teachers. He also advocates for Birmingham schools to become the hub of all related activities. Holmes believes that having an African culture-centered curriculum in the majority African-American Birmingham schools would increase students’ knowledge of their history and culture and enhance self-esteem, self-respect and self-help.