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Celebrating Black History Month and Inspiring Lessons to Bring to the Classroom β€οΈπŸ–€πŸ’š

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Black History Month is a time to honor and celebrate the contributions and achievements of Black individuals throughout history. As high school teachers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our students have a comprehensive understanding of Black history and its significance. Although I prefer to include voices not often heard from throughout the entire school year, I wanted to focus this month’s blog on exploring creative ways to incorporate Black History Month into everyday learning. As you already know, it’s always good to showcase the lives and impact of influential figures who have shaped the course of history!

Here are 4 ways to celebrate Black History Month:

1. Teaching the History of Black History Month

Before diving into specific lessons, it is essential to provide students with a solid understanding of the significance of Black History Month. By discussing the historical context and the importance of celebrating diversity and inclusion, we can foster a sense of appreciation and respect for the contributions of Black individuals. The National Museum of African American History and Culture has a great article on the importance. Check out that article here: Knowing the Past Opens the Door to the Future: The Continuing Importance of Black History Month

2. Exploring the Lives of Influential Figures with Biographies

Exploring the lives of influential Black Americans is important because it sheds light on significant contributions to society, history, and culture. It challenges stereotypes, promotes inclusivity, and fosters understanding of the African American experience. By celebrating achievements, we inspire future generations and create a more equitable and diverse society.

For example, W.E.B. Du Bois was an influential figure in American history, particularly known for his contributions to the civil rights movement. As a sociologist, historian, and writer, Du Bois fought for racial equality, co-founded the NAACP, and challenged racial prejudice through his research and activism, leaving a lasting impact on society.

Viewpoints of W.E.B. DuBois

Viewpoints of Booker T. Washington  

Comparing Viewpoints of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois

3. Engaging Discussions with warm ups highlighting the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history

Encourage students to research and embody influential Black figures through role-playing activities. This interactive approach allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs faced by these individuals, fostering empathy and critical thinking.

4. Analyzing Primary Sources to deepen understanding

Incorporate primary sources, such as speeches, letters, and photographs, into your lessons. By analyzing and interpreting these sources, students can develop their historical and psychological analysis skills while gaining a more nuanced understanding of the experiences of Black individuals throughout history.

Martin Luther King: Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Handout: Martin Luther King: Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Version #2 Handout: Martin Luther King: Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Martin Luther King: The Other America


Incorporating Black History Month lessons provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black individuals while fostering a sense of empathy, respect, and understanding among students. By exploring the lives of influential figures we can inspire our students to appreciate the power of resilience, leadership, and social change. Through engaging activities and discussions, we can empower our students to become informed, empathetic citizens who actively promote equality and justice in their communities. Let us celebrate Black History Month not just in February but throughout the year, ensuring that the stories and legacies of Black individuals are an integral part of our curriculum!

β€œThere is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering.”

– Lonnie G. Bunch III, American educator and historian

Wishing you a smooth February, my fellow teachers!