Black History Month celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans. That history is part of the greater American history and a month is just not enough time to give this part of our history its due attention. There are some things one can do to insure that Black History is more than one month and a part of your regular history curriculum.
A great way to make history come alive for your students in general is to highlight a historical event for each day. Yenoba.com provides a searchable calendar of African American history. One can search by date or keyword. Within this calendar you will find important achievements, difficult struggles overcome, and great leaders in Black history. By default, the site displays an interesting fact for the current day, but one can scroll down and search the entire calendar.
One struggle teachers have is staying true to history and not allowing our own biases or lack of knowledge to interfere with the information we provide our students. A great way to combat this is to use primary sources. Loads of primary resources can be found at the Library of Congress website. Many of the featured sections include links to resources that specifically address Black history.
A major theme of Black History Month is the fight for change and justice in the face of institutional racism. Social justice is a theme that can run throughout the year and doesn’t have to be limited to just 28 days (or 29, depending on the year). Great professional resources are available for educators to help make social justice a part of any curriculum. Rethinking Schools Online is the website for the highly influential educational journal by the same name that focuses on social issues in education. Teaching Tolerance is another journal with a similar focus. Teaching for Change is an organization that provides publications and professional development for educators looking to make social justice a part of their curriculum year-round.
What do you do in your classroom to insure that Black history is a part of the entire year and not just one month?
Zac Early is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.