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West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology Debuts Black History T-Shirts At Meijer

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Meijer shoppers will find more than in-season produce this February. The Midwest retail giant is welcoming another year of Black History Month apparel created by local artists.  

“Black history isn’t really taught out of February and it definitely should be, because Black History is American History,” Minni said.

Minni Peters is a sophomore at Grand Rapids Innovation Central High School, and at just 15 years old, they and fellow high schooler, freshman Anala Millbrooks, can say their designs have made it in the doors of a top Midwest retailer.

“Having this experience will definitely help my artistic career in the future and working with other people,” they said.

The two were selected by the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology along Meijer to create two clothing designs in honor of Black History Month. WMCAT president and CEO, Jamon Alexander, saying it was an opportunity well earned.

“Our students are creative, their thoughtful they’re inspiring,” he said.

The students worked alongside professional artist and WMCAT instructor, Jalexia Stoutmyre on the designs. One T-shirt features candy hearts with affirmations like “luv ur curls” and “Black is beautiful,” among other sentiments. Stoutmyre explains:

“When speaking on blackness we’re not just talking a bout what people say it is which is Black is resilient, Black is strong and it very very well is but let’s also talk about how Black is soft and black is pure,” Stoutmyre said.

Peters says the team also debuted a sweatshirt, featuring a timeline of Black history achievements down the sleeve.

“The main part was to educate people on the accomplishments that they may not have been taught in school,” they said.

The limited supply of shirts and sweatshirts will be available at 257 Meijer stores across the Midwest all month long.