3 Tips to Refresh Your Black History Month Lessons

Black History Month. African American History. Celebrated annual. In February in United States and Canada. In October in Great Britain. Poster, card, banner, background. Vector illustration

Pausing, reflecting, and refreshing how you approach teaching Black History Month this February can help foster more culturally responsive lessons. Lessons should be dynamic and cover a wide range of topics, including history, first-person perspectives, art, literature, to better capture the Black experience. And, by celebrating black voices throughout the year, teachers can support anti-bias education. Here are 3 tips to refresh your lessons for Black History Month 2022.

Meet New Heroes

Vector illustration set in minimalistic style. Modern design concept.

While Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks will forever be key figures in American history, highlighting lesser-known historical and contemporary figures offer students even more opportunities to understand the contribution of black people across all spectrums of American life. Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) chooses a theme for Black History Month. This year’s theme is “Black Health and Wellness,” which explores and celebrates African American contributions to medical discovery and public health.

Discuss Current Events

History is in the making every day—celebrate strong contemporary voices. The Black Lives Matter movement and the attacks against teaching Critical Race Theory brings home the fact that racial equality is as important an issue as it ever was. Link history and current events to help students better grasp the context of what’s happening in the world today.

Share Stories of Empowerment

Beautiful woman dressed as the iconic Rosie the Riveter

Delving beyond the discussion of slavery and systemic inequalities to explore a culture that has enriched our society through the arts, sciences, and more provides cause for celebration. Empowering students with stories of achievement is a must.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Sources and Further Reading:

https://www.adl.org/education/educator-resources/lesson-plans/10-ideas-for-teaching-black-history-month

https://convention2.allacademic.com/one/asalh/asalh22/

https://www.nea.org/professional-excellence/student-engagement/tools-tips/black-history-month-lessons-resources

https://publichealth.nyu.edu/events-news/news/2020/02/27/17-african-american-public-health-heroes-you-need-know

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/nov2019/understanding-anti-bias

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/06/us/black-lives-matter-activists/index.html

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