On March 7th, 2021 Homestead Middle School experienced a great loss.
Mr. Kim Hill, a long-time local educator and activist passed away.
The master educator, the orator, the inspirer, the friend and colleague; all that was Mr. Hill. His departure was unexpected, sudden and dejected but the impact that he had in this community, and those who knew him is everlasting.
Sometimes educators get consumed by the everyday dealings of educating. It is easy to go day by day, going through the motions of the typical classroom duties; the papers to grade, the lessons to prepare, the parents to reach and the children to teach. Mr. Hill was the exception; he was always on the quest to instill in his students the pride for their culture and the passion for their history. Black history was never a month with Mr. Hill, it was never a requirement to satisfy. Black history was ever present in his classroom, in his conversations, in his thoughts.
He was proud of his roots, but even prouder or having the privilege to transmit the love and interest for it in his students. He spent countless hours listening to lectures, reading books and finding the connections of black roots in the common textbooks that omitted it. He committed himself to revealing the history of his people, making it real, tangible and relevant. Mr. Hill was always looking for fairness, not trouble; he advocated for social justice, for change to be positive and indelible.
Kim Hill’s passion for sharing his knowledge did not end at the sound of the bell or at the end of the school day. Within his community, he was just as passionate about bringing about change and social reform in the black and brown neighborhoods where his students lived. He dedicated his life to the struggle of his people. He never missed a City Hall meeting. He tirelessly advocated for police reform, equal opportunity, and economic development for the forgotten Southwest side. Along this route, he inspired many young men within the community. He was a man who led by example and showed us every day that change will not come if we wait for some other person, or some other time. We are the change that we seek. After over five years of constant lobbying for police reform in the City of Homestead, the city finally adopted a body camera policy for police officers just two months before his death. While he was able to see the change he created before he left us, it is a small comparison to the impact he has made on the people he has inspired along the way.
The tiger may have fallen, but his cubs will carry on the legacy - continuing to speak, advocate, teach and inspire future generations. Mr. Hill is gone, but forever in our hearts.