Black History Month is celebrated annually during the month of February. Black History Month is celebrated to highlight the achievements and accomplishments of African Americans. appreciate their culture, and reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice. Black History Month has greatly evolved from 1926, when this celebration was a week-long previously known as Negro History Week introduced by Carter G. Woodson (aka the "Father of Black History"). February 1st is also National Freedom Day, the anniversary of the approval of the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery in 1865.
In the classroom, while Black History Month is important, aim to reinforce that ‘Black History’ is American History. Many schools teach from Black history from a white-centered perspective, rather than tell the entire story. It is important to have truth in the classroom, as well difficult conversations about race. These conversations can build trust and respect if facilitated accurately. There are multiple websites linked below with activities to use in the classroom specifically for Black History Month, and ways to include Black history in the curriculum year-round.
The theme for Black History Month 2021 is “Black Family: Representation, Identity, & Diversity.”
Here are seven guiding principles for educators to explore when teaching Black history (recommended by LaGarrett J. King, an associate professor of social studies education at the University of Missouri):
6 Teaching Tools for Black History Month
33 Black History Month Activities for February and Beyond
20 pertinent classroom resources for Black History Month
Black History Month Activities for Classrooms (Grades K-12)
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: Lesson Plans for K-12 students