Celebrating Black History
Welcome to this updated Share My Lesson collection dedicated to Black history. It's essential to recognize that while Black History Month celebrates the remarkable achievements and enduring struggles of Black Americans in February, Black history is not confined to just one month—it's a year-round exploration of a rich and multifaceted history. In the 2024 observance of Black hIstory, we celebrate the theme of "Black Americans in the Arts." This theme highlights the extraordinary contributions of Black artists, musicians, writers, actors, and creators who have enriched our cultural landscape and inspired generations with their talent and creativity.
The teaching of Black history provides a space to honor and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans, acknowledging their significant impact on culture, politics, science and numerous other fields. It provides an opportunity for educators to engage students in meaningful discussions about the African American experience, emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion.
So, why do we set aside a specific month for Black history? This tradition originated with Dr. Carter G. Woodson who established what was initially known as Negro History Week in 1926. He selected the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two influential figures in the history of African Americans and the struggle for freedom and equality.
Over time, Negro History Week evolved into Black History Month, officially recognized in 1976. This expansion allowed for a more comprehensive exploration of Black history, encompassing the stories of numerous individuals and communities that have left an indelible mark on our nation.
Although February serves as a designated time to focus on Black history, it's essential to remember that our commitment to teaching this topic should extend beyond this month. We should integrate Black history into our curriculum in a manner that acknowledges the ongoing contributions, challenges and achievements of Black Americans.
Within this collection, you will find a variety of resources designed to help you effectively celebrate Black history and inspire year-round discussions on the subject. From lesson plans and classroom activities to blogs and free professional development webinars, these resources are meant to support educators in bringing Black history to life in the classroom.
Let's collectively ensure that Black history is not just a chapter in our lesson plans during February but an integral component of our educational journey throughout the entire school year. Together, we can help students develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the stories that have built our nation's history.