This February, schools across the country recognize “Black History Month” with lessons, activities, and events meant to spotlight important figures in Black history and milestone events in the trajectory of Black life in America.
Here at Facing History, we know that Black history is central to all of American history, and should be part of a robust teaching curriculum year-round. Alongside the lessons of Black history, it’s also critical to honor the resilience, creativity, and vitality of Black people in the face of inequity and violence, past and present. That’s why, this year, we’re celebrating Black History Month by honoring the themes of Black Agency & Black Joy.
Stay tuned this month as we share an array of teaching resources and blog posts designed to promote innovative instruction and reflection on these topics and help you strengthen your Black history curriculum for February and beyond.
February is African American History Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. https://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/
Edutopia: Choosing Culturally Responsive Images to Connect With Students
By Lidia Aguirre
October 14, 2020
For teachers who are just starting to weave students’ backgrounds into their practice, focusing on the images in lessons is a good option.
The idea for PicDiversity began with a conversation between Founder Rachel Hanley and Chicago teacher, Nereyda Dockett. Neddy expressed a need for diverse photography to use in her classroom to demonstrate classroom behaviors in her Kindergarten class. As it turned out, Rachel was researching education policy and aggregating teacher input in her juris doctorate studies. After more research, Rachel realized the issue was bigger than just Kindergarten classrooms—it was a systemic issue. Our kids needed not just visuals as diverse as they are, but they needed exposure to role models that look like them, from a variety of careers. She pulled together team and PicDiversity was born.
Black History Month 2021 Theme, "The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity"
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) invites you to attend the 2021 Virtual Black History Month Festival. Several events are free and open to the public on ASALH TV, the association’s premier YouTube channel! https://asalh.org/festival/
Anti-Defamation League: Teaching Black History https://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/black-history-monthIn schools and classrooms, Black History Month is an excellent time to explore the Black experience—including the history and culture of African-American people, the injustice faced by them and how that injustice has been and continues to be confronted and overcome. As with other similarly themed months, it is important not to isolate black history and culture into one month during the year. Black history is American history and should be integrated into the curriculum throughout the school year.
This month we feature our teaching guide 10 Ideas for Teaching Black History Month as well as additional K-12 curriculum and other resources to bring the themes of Black History Month to your classroom during February and throughout the year.
Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants.
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) ESL Activities for African-American History Month
Updated January 30, 2007
African-American History Month offers many opportunities for adult English language learners to begin to understand the complex history and culture of the United States at the same time they are acquiring English. This yearly observance can be particularly fruitful because many communities provide a variety of free activities in the form of music, art, conferences, and speeches that classes can attend. TV and radio also offer special programs that can be used as homework assignments, or taped for focused use in the classroom.
African-American History Month or Black History Month, as it is also called, was established in February 1976. This celebration was an extension and evolution of the original Negro History Week which was established by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926. This month celebrates the immense contributions that African-Americans have made to the United States while acknowledging that for much of the country's existence, these contributions have been ignored or downplayed.
More resources are available on our Instructional Resources on Race, Racism, Police Violence, and Antiracism page.