Donation Leads to Lessons in Black History – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The kind act of a little girl on her birthday has turned into something good in celebration of Black History Month.

Mila Vincent from Dallas recently turned 6. It is her tradition to celebrate by giving back to others and showing those who are making a positive impact on the community.

She calls it the Be Kind Birthday.

“Because if I am treated kindly, I think that others should be treated kindly,” said the kindergarten teacher.

“We started when Mila turned 1. I knew I wanted to do something special, I didn’t know what,” said Shayna Vincent, mother of Mila and her 2 year old sister Viva. “One day it popped into my head, ‘let’s take this day to celebrate Mila’ so me and my family do this, but how can we make it bigger? How can we extend these celebrations and such a happy time? We have decided to use this day to give something back to the community, to give something back to those in need and also to highlight organizations or people that have a positive impact on the community. “

This kindness was shared with the Oak Cliff Cultural Center on Mila’s birthday this year.

Mila donated 10 copies of a book called “Beautiful Browns: The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring”. A friend wrote the book about this little-known black artist, and Mila attended an event where the author read the book.

“My favorite part of the book is about whenever she gave the mints so they could keep quiet because I like mints. I eat one every day,” said Mila. “So the artist gave mints to the people she painted so they could stay a little longer and be happier, and that was Mila’s favorite part,” she explained.

Oak Cliff Cultural Center

6-year-old Mila Vincent donates books to the Oak Cliff Cultural Center on the occasion of her birthday.

“Laura Wheeler Waring is such a trailblazer. She started painting with colors that represented her people. And it’s important, but not many people know about her. And we find out that this is one of the only books that is about.” they were written. And it’s a children’s book, “said Monica Luna, the cultural program coordinator at the Center, a division of the Dallas City Office of Arts & Culture.

The cultural center decided to share Mila’s kindness and Waring’s story through a poetry competition. Preschool through 5th grade artists are invited to submit a poem called Beautiful Shades of Brown. Ten winners will receive a copy of the book donated by Mila.

“We invite every child, especially of elementary school age, to write a poem of any length about beautiful browns. What do beautiful browns mean to you?” Explained Luna.

The contest runs through February 19th and anyone interested in participating can email Luna at [email protected]


On Wednesday, February 10th, the Oak Cliff and South Dallas Cutural Centers will host a virtual chat with writer Nancy Churrin to share Waring’s inspiring story.

“My hope was that other children could hear this story and be inspired too. If their passion is art, they can hear the story and take it from there,” said Vincent.

“I hope others see this and get inspired by it. You don’t have to do something on a grand scale, just the smallest things, the smallest act of kindness every day. Everyone can do something.”


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