Black History Month
Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.
We know that black history IS American history - our attention and work with students is not limited only to February - but the month is a special time to celebrate with our students and community. See below for a collection of resources you can use in your classroom as you celebrate this month, and as you plan activities inclusive of all throughout the school year.
General Resources for Black History Month:
- The National Museum of African American History & Culture
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
- Origins of Black History Month: A brief video overview from the History Channel about the origins of the celebration with historian Carter G. Woodson
- Mining the Jewel of Black History Month: Teaching Tolerance blog entry by Emily Chiarello
- African American History Month: A combined site with resources from the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and US Holocaust Museum.
- Unpublished Black History: unpublished photos from the New York Times archives
- Flocabulary’s Black History Month page
- A Great and Might Walk: Documentary by African American history John Henrik Clarke providing context about African and African American history.
"History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day."
~ John Henrik Clarke
- Teaching Day-by-Day: 28 days of activities to celebrate Black History Month from Highlights
- National Education Association Black History Month Lessons
- Scholastic Black History Month Activities
- ReadWorks.org Celebrate Black History Month Activities
- PBS NewsHour Black History Month Lessons
- Lessons from the Choices Program:
- African American Studies Center: Underground Railroad - A Journey to Freedom
Make History by Celebrating History
The following materials were created by Verizon Wireless to celebrate Black History Month several years ago. Each file has a theme and contains short biographies of five notable African Americans for students to learn about. You can use these documents to highlight one person for every day in the month.