Teaching Black History All Year Long

As Black History Month comes to an end, it’s important to remember that learning and celebrating Black history shouldn’t be limited to just one month out of the year. Incorporating Black history into your curriculum and daily routines all year long can help promote cultural understanding, empathy, and respect in your students.

Teach beyond the typical historical figures

While teaching about well-known historical figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman is important, it’s also crucial to expand your teaching beyond just these figures. Teach about lesser-known Black figures in history, such as Claudette Colvin – a teenager who refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus nine months before Rosa Parks – or Katherine Johnson, the mathematician who helped send American astronauts to space. By teaching about a variety of Black figures, both well-known and less popular, you can provide a more comprehensive understanding of Black history in America.

Integrate Black history into your curriculum

Black history can be integrated into just about any subject, from science to literature to social studies. For example, in science class, you can teach about famous Black inventors and scientists such as Patricia Bath, who created a device to remove cataracts, or Mae Jemison, the first Black woman astronaut. In literature class, you can include texts written by Black authors, such as Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” or Langston Hughes’ poetry. By including Black history in each subject, you can provide a well-rounded educational experience that promotes cultural understanding and highlights important contributions made by Black people throughout history.

Create a culturally responsive classroom

Creating a culturally responsive classroom means recognizing and embracing cultural diversity in your classroom. This can include displaying posters and photos of Black figures, authors, and historical events throughout the classroom. Additionally, teachers can hold discussions about current events, including those that relate to race and racism, creating opportunities for students to share their thoughts and feelings on these topics.

Acknowledge and Learn from Black History All Year Long

Teaching Black history all year long is an important step towards creating a more inclusive educational experience for all students. By expanding past the typical Black history month that is taught in schools, students can be introduced to a more comprehensive understanding of history and the rich contributions Black figures have made to society. By creating a culturally responsive classroom, these discussions can be held with respect and empathy, creating a more welcoming environment for all students.  

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