Black History Month

February 2020

Black History Month originated from the work of Carter G. Woodson in 1925 and was first celebrated in 1926 as a week-long celebration.  In 1976, President Ford proclaimed the month an official celebration to recognize and honor the amazing contributions, achievements, and impact African Americans have made in the United States and around the world. More in-depth details on the history of Black History Month can be found at Civil Rights. and at LOC African American History Month.


I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

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Nina Simone is said to be one of the most passionate, most outspoken, and most gifted musicians that used her music to advance the cause of the civil rights movement. This song, written in 1967, by jazz pianist and educator Dr. Billy Taylor (and Dick Dallas), was recorded by Simone that same year. It quickly became one of the musical mainstays of the movement. Listen to her beautiful voice and message.

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“I wish you could know
What it means to be me
Then you’d see and agree
That every man should be free”

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We need to be deliberate in integrating Black history all year long across the curriculum. Peruse the resources below for ideas!


Ideas to Honor and Celebrate Black History Month

Primary Sources for Teachers from African American History Month 

Common Sense Education  – Best African American History Apps and Websites

Teaching Hard History: American Slavery from Teaching Tolerance

Facing History – Eyes on the Prize  Produced by Blackside, Inc. and nationally broadcast on PBS, this comprehensive 14-part television documentary series about the American Civil Rights Movement utilizes rare historical film and interviews with participants from pivotal moments in the struggle for civil rights.

Civil Rights Movement Virtual Learning Journey from the Georgia Department of Education & Georgia Public Broadcasting (PBS)

28 Ways to Celebrate from ScholasticKiddom’s Blog with Curated Lesson Plans

FlipGrid  A Celebration of Voice and Celebrating Black History Month


Teaching the African American Experience with Smithsonian Learning Lab

Watch the webinar with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, “ Teaching the African American Experience with the Smithsonian Learning Lab,” to learn how to use their resources.

Black Panther and Black Superheroes from The National Museum of African American History and Culture

Read Between the Brushstrokes: Using Visual Art as a Historical Source  from The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)

Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Later Years (1965 – 1968) from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and other Smithsonian units.


Free video resources from Described and Captioned Media Program’s Read Captions Across America

African American History Captioned Videos