Honoring and Celebrating Black History All Year Long
If there is anything this past year has reminded us, it is that the work of anti-racism, equity, and inclusion – in our schools, and in our communities – should not be limited to specific celebratory days or months, but that our work to center and amplify Black voices, lives, and history should be continuous and happen every single day. Black history – and not just stories of slavery and the Civil Rights struggle, but the full scope of the Black experience – is our nation’s history, and it lays bare both the great promise of equality espoused at our country’s founding, but also the reality that we have yet to truly live up to this ideal for all of our fellow citizens.
This work of engaging with our full history is vital for today’s students, who are growing up in a more diverse and interconnected world than ever before and will have to take responsibility for a global community that will require even more resilient peacemakers, courageous problem solvers, and passionate leaders. For 18 years, our commitment to this work has been fueled by our unwavering belief that there is strength in diversity, and that a peaceful, just and sustainable path forward for the world depends upon all individuals – particularly those who have been historically marginalized – having a strong and powerful voice in how we build our collective future.
Throughout Black History Month, we’ve shared resources on social media for engaging students in the full richness of this history – Black art, music, and culture, Black leadership and innovation, Black resilience, activism, joy, and more. In the spirit of continuing to learn and do the work of anti-racism together, we are sharing the resources we found helpful throughout this Black History Month in one place. We hope that you’ll find them helpful to engage students in this history – and empower them to shape a more equitable future – all year long.
Black History Month (and beyond!) Resources:
Teaching the Complete History: Go beyond trauma and struggle to examine the liberation, civic engagement, creativity, and intersecting identities of Black people during Black History Month: https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/black-history-month-teaching-the-complete-history
James Baldwin’s Lessons on Race in America: https://westminsterforum.org/forum/james-baldwins-lessons-on-race-in-america/
Zinn Education Project lessons: African American history: https://www.zinnedproject.org/materials/?cond=themes_str:African+American
Zinn Education Project lessons: Civil Rights Movement: https://www.zinnedproject.org/materials/?cond=themes_str:Civil+Rights+Movements
Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching Black History: How do you ensure students get the most out of black history and Black History Month? Here are some suggestions: https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/dos-and-donts-of-teaching-black-history
6 Teaching Tools for Black History Month: From interactive timelines and rich multimedia to study guides, these resources can help bring Black history into the classroom: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/black-history-month-teaching-resources-matthew-davis
Center for Racial Justice Education: Black History Month Resource Guide for Educators and Families: https://centerracialjustice.org/resources/black-history-month-resource-guide-for-educators-and-families/
Black History Month Lessons & Resources: Integrating African-American Culture & History into Your Curriculum: https://www.nea.org/professional-excellence/student-engagement/tools-tips/black-history-month-lessons-resources
34 Black History Month Activities for February and Beyond: Honor our shared history with activities for the entire classroom: https://www.weareteachers.com/7-fresh-ideas-for-black-history-month/
10 Ideas for Teaching Black History: https://www.adl.org/education/educator-resources/lesson-plans/10-ideas-for-teaching-black-history-month
February 2021: Honoring Black Agency & Black Joy: https://www.facinghistory.org/educator-resources/current-events/february-2021-honoring-black-agency-black-joy
PBS Newshour: 20 pertinent classroom resources for Black History Month: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/2019/02/black-history-month-resources-for-the-classroom/
50 Black young adult novelists you should read, from Angie Thomas to Walter Dean Myers: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2021/02/19/black-ya-novelists-to-read-angie-thomas-walter-dean-myers-nicola-yoon-tracy-deonn-tomi-adeyemi/4403818001/ (Found via Learning for Justice on Twitter)
National Museum of African American History & Culture: Resources for Educators: https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/educators
Community Leadership, Youth Organizing, and SNCC: https://www.learningforjustice.org/podcasts/teaching-hard-history/civil-rights-movement/community-organizing-youth-leadership-and-sncc
Resistance Means More Than Rebellion: https://www.learningforjustice.org/podcasts/teaching-hard-history/american-slavery/resistance-means-more-than-rebellion