Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy Black History Month

Although Black History is acknowledged throughout the month of February, the achievements and contributions made by African Americans can be celebrated all year long!!

So, I often hear people ask, "What are some things I can do to celebrate Black History?" It is very simple. The goal of Black History Month (in my opinion) is to build awareness, bring recognition to, and celebrate African American history and its impact on the development of the United States. With the US being a country full of rich culture and diversity, it is only right to pay homage to those that have helped to make our nation what it is today. With this said, celebrating Black History Month doesn't have to be a grand production. It doesn't mean that teachers should drive themselves crazy trying to create projects and presentations that highlight African American trailblazers. Although these things can be done...and can be awesome, if it is only highlighted for the 28 days in is really just done in vain.

What should happen is African American history shouldn't be taught separate from American History. Notable heroes, inventors, activist, teachers, politicians, performers, writers....They should all be talked about throughout the year and discussed whenever the opportunity presents itself (as with all cultures and backgrounds). During the month of February it is great to celebrate noted achievements but my point shouldn't be a concern just in February. It should be relevant year round.

One great way to keep African American history relevant is to share important facts on a regular basis. This can be random or intentional (correlating with your curriculum).

With that said here is a little known Black History fact:

Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded The Journal of Negro History in 1916 and began Negro History Week in 1926. A week in February was designated because that month held birthdays for Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. This week went on to become Black History Month in 1976, designated by presidential proclamation.

Here are few more Black History facts that you can share from my latest resource, 50 Brainy Black History Facts: 

Nat Turner is known for leading the  most significant slave revolt in U.S. History.

Shirley Chilsom was the first black woman elected to the House of Representatives.

Wally Amos is a black entrepreneur and the father of the Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookie.

The first African American astronaut was Dr. Mae Jamison.

Pedro Alonzo Nino, an African sailor, helped Christopher Columbus navigate the Nina ship.

Do these facts sound interesting? Are any of these individuals unknown or unfamiliar to you or your students? If so, GREAT! Because now you have a starter question for an inquiry project or research paper! Students can take an interesting fact either during Black History Month or at some other point during the year and build a mini research paper answering questions like: When was this person born? Why was this contribution significant? What other things is this person known for? If you want more Black History facts, feel free to check out my 50 Brainy Black History Facts resource in my TPT store.  

Download HERE

This is a great resource that can be used to teach interesting facts about notable African-Americans in United States history. Use fact cards to encourage inquiry projects throughout the year; encourage students to research facts further to learn more about an individual’s life and accomplishments. You can 
also use fact cards to ask random trivia questions or, to build schema. Great for Black History Month.


  1. Hi! I just saw your post on my Linky Party and I just wanted to say I'm in LOVE with your blog name. :-)

  2. Thanks! I am your newest follower!!

  3. Excellent point! It's exactly how I feel! It's important to celebrate all cultures all year long! Thanks for sharing.
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