Black History Month Activities: Exploring The Roots of a Celebration
It’s a misconception that Black History Month has only been around since its official designation by President Gerald Ford in 1976. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian and the renowned father of black history in America devoted his life toward advocating for visibility, recognition, and appreciation of the black experience and contributions to American history, culture and society. Pursuing these ambitions, Woodson laid the foundations for Negro History Week (NHW) in 1925. The event was first celebrated in February 1926 and was to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Although NHW launched a powerful interest in black culture and representation, by the 1960s, during the civil rights movement, the most popular textbook for eighth-grade U.S. history courses only contained mention of two black people in the entirety of events that had transpired since the Civil War. This dearth of representation surrounding black contributions to society in our education system triggered a revolt against the traditional curriculum that eschewed the achievements of the Black Community. Responding to this, several institutions of higher education began advocating for an official Black History Month as a way to realize the ambitions that Woodson had initially fought for decades earlier. On the 50th anniversary of NHW’s first celebration, the U.S. officially designated February as Black History Month in 1976, and it has been celebrated each year since then.
Black History Month Activities: Celebrating Historical Legacies
Explore Black History Month ideas for your lesson planning with our curated collection of activities, blogs, webinars and more. You’ll find everything you need to teach your preK-12 students about key events and individuals whose accomplishments continue to influence, inspire, and shape American society and the world today. Explore some of our most popular resources with:
- Rosa Parks: A Quest for Equal Protection
- Highlighting Black Disabled Individuals in American History
- Culturally Responsive Lesson on Langston Hughes
This collection includes only a fraction of the total resources available on the Share My Lesson site. After viewing these resources, please use the search bar to explore other free preK-12 content for educators, students, parents and more.
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