Celebrate Black History Month with your students by sharing the hard work, struggles, and successes of African Americans throughout history. This collection of resources offers lessons, activities, and primary source items like W.E.B. DuBois, National African American Read-in, Brown v. Board of Education, and many more. Let's start with some innovative pioneers and innovators who are making a change today.
Celebrating Your History
U.S. history is filled with influential African Americans. Discover two pioneers who changed their communities and our country. See how two modern innovators combine strong cultural ties and Verizon technology to empower today's society. Explore the stories of these innovators and pioneers:
- B. Smith - "I think the key to being an innovator in my industry is always doing more. Doing better. Doing different."
- Robert Townsend - "How many people will reach their dreams? How many people will touch the brass ring? Can you do it? Yes. What will stop you? You."
- Will Packer - Recognized by Variety magazine as one of the "10 Producers to Watch" - the only African-American Producer to receive honors on the list.
- Navarrow Wright - "Usually when you're breaking new ground, there's always someone there to tell you that you can't do it."
- Celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation with this collection of Thinkfinity resources and learn more about Abraham Lincoln's historical legacy.
- Explore this special collection dedicated to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Share with your students the impact of Dr. King during his lifetime and how his work still resonates in our society today.
- Learn more about the historic 1961 Freedom Rides event and view the recorded webcast of the National Youth Summit commemorating its 50th Anniversary.
Selected Content Partner Resources
Black History Month
National Geographic Education | Collection | All Grades
Celebrate the achievements of African Americans past and present during Black History Month. This collection of resources includes profiles of prominent figures such as President Barack Obama and lesser-known war heroine Mary Seacole. Try an interactive exercise to witness the challenges slaves faced attempting to escape North. Explore hands-on activities, maps, and more that will give students of all backgrounds new perspectives on this important part of American culture.
African American History
History Explorer | Lessons, Interactives, and Media | K-12
Find podcasts, videos, interactives, and lessons on the sacrifices, struggles, and contributions of African Americans in American history.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nonviolence
History Explorer | Activity | K-5
Children will learn about Dr. King's life and legacy through a reading guide on the children's book Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport and a variety of activities that examine Dr. King's speeches and the protest methods of the civil rights movement by encouraging readers to go beyond the words of the book, creating word art from King's speeches and other thought-provoking projects.
2014 National African American Read-In
NCTE | Activity | K-12
Make literacy a significant part of Black History Month. Participate in the 25th National African American Read-In. It can be as simple as bringing together students to share a book by an African-American author.
Black History Month
Science NetLinks | Collection | K-12
A number of resources that will help you honor the achievements and scientific work of African Americans. Consider using these resources in your classroom.
ARTSEDGE | Multimedia | K-12
Journey with us as we trace the blues from its early beginnings in southern American fields to its global impact on music today. Through informative interviews and a wealth of podcasts, you will learn the ins and outs of blues music and find out how the history of the blues has been brought to life on stage at the Kennedy Center.
Civil Rights Movement
Smithsonian's History Explorer | Lessons & Resources | K-12
explore the Woolworth's lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, the Freedom Rides, and other events of the civil rights movement through lessons, videos, and activities.
Guide to Black History Month Teaching Resources
EDSITEment | Lessons | K-12
Investigate the tremendous contributions that African Americans have made to the history and cultural development of the United States with this special collection of lessons that tell the four-hundred-year story of African Americans.
Martin Luther King Teaching Resources
Science NetLinks | Resource Collection | K-12
A set of social and behavioral science resources to celebrate the work and legacy of Dr. King.
Separate Is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education
History Explorer | Resources | 4-12
Brown v. Board of Education reached the Supreme Court through the fearless efforts of lawyers, community activists, parents, and students. Their struggle to fulfill the American dream set in motion sweeping changes in American society, and redefined the nation's ideals. This resource has outstanding teacher, parent, and student resources to help teach and learn about this landmark case.
Spotlight on African-American Scientists
Science NetLinks | Science Update | 6-12
In this series of 60-second audio features, students can hear black scientists talk about their important work in the field of science, technology, engineering, and medicine.
The Work of W.E.B. Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois Library | Special Collection | 6-12
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is in the process of digitizing an estimated 100,000 works by W.E.B. Du Bois. Once complete, the Verizon Foundation funded project will include more than 4,000 articles, essays and books, as well as correspondence with historical figures such as Albert Einstein and Mohandas Gandhi.
National Endowment for the Humanities | Documentary films | 9-12
As the nation marks historic anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington, Created Equal brings together four nationally-acclaimed documentary films on the long Civil Rights movement.
The NEH Created Equal project uses the power of documentary films to encourage educators, students, parents, and the general public to engage in investigations about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in America. The four films that are part of this project tell the remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo, from slavery to segregation.
The robust " For Teachers" section includes scholarly essays, film clips, question for active student engagement, short background essays for teachers from the Gilder Lehrman Institute, EDSITEment lesson plans, and primary sources.