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Celebrating Black History Month

Black History DisplayCelebrations of African-American heritage and achievement began in 1926 and the original weeklong observance become a month in 1976.  Below are some resources to help you celebrate Black History Month.

NEA Black History Month Lessons & Resources
NEA offers a selection of lesson plans that cover a variety subjects and that you can adapt to fit multiple grade levels.

The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture
This site is a resources guide covering the nearly 500 years of black experience in the Western hemisphere.  The Mosaic surveys the full range and variety of the Library’s collections, including books, periodicals, prints, photographs, music, film, and recorded sound.  The exhibit covers four areas: Colonization, Abolition, Migrations, and the Work Projects Administration (WPA).

National Civil Rights Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum  (NCRM) is committed to providing educators with resources and materials to aid them in teaching the struggle for freedom and justice to today’s students.  Here you will find links to the NCRM Teacher’s Curriculum Guide, worksheets, primary source analysis guides, scavenger hunts, and much more.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s website contains detailed information about Underground Railroad history, as well as descriptions and images of inspiring, educational exhibits. From education initiatives, to community enhancement programs, to the increasingly popular blogs, you will find relevant discussion about subjects that really are important today, such as human trafficking. The purpose in presenting this information is to inspire you to action, in the spirit of the 19th Century Abolitionists, to pursue justice and freedom for all people.

Black History BooksImportant anniversaries and remembrances fill February:

  • February 1, 1865 – Abraham Lincoln’s approval of the 13th amendment abolishing slavery
  • February 1, 1960 – Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth lunch-counter sit-in
  • February 3, 1870 – Ratification of the 15th amendment guaranteeing race would not prevent a man from voting
  • February 11, 1990 – Nelson Mandela’s release from prison
  • February 14, 1817  – Presumed birthday of Frederick Douglass
  • February 21, 1965 – Malcolm X’s assassination
  • February 22, 1956 – Montgomery bus boycott arrests

What are you doing to celebrate Black History Month in your classroom?  Share with your colleagues in the comments.

Creative Commons images by bloomsberries (first image) and LizMarie (second image).

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