Black History is American History
The month of February is a designated time where schools and organizations make concerted efforts to acknowledge and celebrate the lives and contributions of black persons, both past and present. Certainly it is important to recognize and consider the accomplishments of so many historical figures of color on a year-round basis. However, February marks the month when a concerted effort is placed upon the significance the plethora of accomplishments made historically and currently today.
Newspapers across the United States offer a myriad of suggestions for ways to learn about and remember and apply the values of what so many many important men and women have contributed to American society. It is important to consider that Black History Month should help us to confront the past as well as celebrate it… by highlighting the works and lives of black Americans, we all, the whole nation, can become more aware and account for and correct past and present injustices.
The New York Times has posted a collection of excellent articles that focus on a variety of people who have made contributions to the world in a variety of essential ways. Start with Celebrate Black History Month. This link contains a collection of archived historical New York Times front pages that relate to this topic. Each link provides a copy of the actual front page complete with images. This is an excellent primary source and amazing way to bring the reality of the past into the present classroom. Make sure to post the Slide Show | Times Photographs of the Civil Rights Era for the whole class.
Continue with the set of lesson plans from the New York Times that covers topics from slavery to the Harlem Renaissance to the civil rights movement to affirmative action and other race issues. The Chicago Tribune’s Black History Month assemblage of articles and lesson ideas is the next place to visit. There are features and news posts, entertainment updates, and opinion posts that your classroom can explore and learn amazing information and hear inspiring stories.
Another amazing news source, the Huffington Post, has posted its own dedication page to Black History Month. The video interviews and blog posts are excellent ways to start classroom dialogue. There are numerous ideas on this link that will enhance your classroom’s opportunities to gain from such valuable contributors to our world.
During this whole month of February, newspapers will be dedicated to posting articles and lesson ideas that will expose students to numerous black Americans who have enhanced the world we live in. Make sure to look for those articles and ideas and share them with others in your classroom. Make an effort to learn something new about the black community.
As you read this week’s [TargetNewspaper], read about the important contributions of various contributors. Choose one individual, either from the past or who is living and working today, and research that person. Make a bulleted list about that person’s life and contributions. Share what you have learned about this person with your class.
COMMON CORE STANDARDS:
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.