Social Studies

Black History Month

By Mary Ann Zehr — February 05, 2009 1 min read

A friend of mine who works at one of the District of Columbia’s public libraries tells me that February is the most important month at her library because it’s Black History Month.The library schedules special programs to feature African-Americans. So since I’m new to the curriculum beat here at Education Week, I decided to do a Web search to see just how big Black History Month is in schools.

Some schools have put together impressive collections of resources that can be used for lessons marking Black History Month. Here’s a sampling:
Lakewood City Schools, in Ohio, has links to Web sites about prominent African Americans.
Chatham County Schools, in North Carolina, features the work of a poet, George Moses Horton, from Chatham County and provides a collection of links with resources.

A number of schools plan special activities or lessons to coincide with Black History Month.
—Potanico Hills Central School in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., is presenting a series of events to celebrate Black History Month, including a workshop by Guy Davis, a blues guitarist and storyteller.
—Sandusky High School started Black History Month by looking at the stories of Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama.

I also see, by scanning Education Week stories that mention Black History Month, that it’s important to some members of school communities that not only do students learn about African-Americans’ role in U.S. history during February, but that they’re also exposed to the topic year round.

The fact that U.S. citizens have elected their first African-American president in Barack Obama gives everyone an opportunity to once again look at school curricula and ensure that students are well informed about African-Americans’ contributions to the United States.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.