Every February, the U.S. honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who helped shape this nation. Black History is American History.
Black History Month celebrates the rich cultural heritage, triumphs, and adversities that are ingrained as part of our country's history. We can support our students as they learn more, discover cultural impacts, and follow movements through to the present day.
Here are some ideas to bring awareness and honor to Black History Month in your classroom:
- Read books with Black characters
- Go back in time to learn about the history of the Southeast region of the US
- Explore Black history through primary sources from the National Archives
- Research Black inventors and musicians to showcase their amazing contributions
- Bring art and history together by displaying civil rights freedom movement posters
- Honor some of the military’s most courageous veterans: Buffalo Soldiers, 54th Massachusetts, Tuskegee Airmen, etc.
- Show ClassOrbit's videos of MLK Jr. or Civil Rights to the class and hold a whole-group discussion
- Do a virtual visit of the incredible Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
- Read Black picture book biographies
- Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech
- Dig deeper into the lives of countless other African Americans who've made a profound impact in history: self-made millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, astronaut Mae C. Jemison, open-heart surgeon Daniel Hale Williams, inventor Garret Morgan, media mogul Oprah Winfrey and "Father of Black History" Carter G. Woodson
- Read a Black History Month poem
- Take a virtual field trip and visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
Remember, Black History Month is an opportunity to understand Black histories, by going beyond stories of racism and slavery, and spotlighting Black achievement. As an educator and student, continued engagement with history is vital as it helps give context for the present and allows us all to gain an appreciation for the experiences of others.