February is Black History Month. This month allows educators to take a step back and reflect on whether their curriculum and instruction includes enough diverse voices and perspectives for students to learn about Black people who have shaped our nation and world.
Carter Woodson, the "Father of Black History," once stated,
"We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice."
Carter Woodson believed it was important to provide an annual theme.
Revere Public Schools to bring the Indigo Project to the Community
Ifé Franklin’s Indigo Project infuses multiple art practices to honor the lives, histories, cultures, and traditions of African people throughout the diaspora, with a concentration on the formerly enslaved of North America.
Revere Public Schools Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Inclusion Dr. Lourenço Garcia is proud to welcome Ifé, a local artist and filmmaker, to RPS to close out the schools’ month-long celebration of Black History Month.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., RPS will host a special Black History Month event with Ifé at Revere High School’s Learning Common and celebrate this year’s Black History Month theme, African Americans and the Arts.
“Honoring Black History Month provides an opportunity for Blacks/Afro-Americans and their
descendants to reconnect with and learn from their ancestral roots, reclaim their identity and dignity, act affirmatively to combat racial and ethnic exclusion, and move toward the future with a renewed sense of purpose and hope,” said Dr. Garcia.
During the event, Ifé will show her powerful film, The Slave Narrative of Willie Mae, a fictional account of Willie Mae Lenox’s escape from slavery to freedom. The work was adapted into a short film in 2021.
The Slave Narrative of Willie Mae is the story of Willie Mae Lenox, a 20-year-old black woman enslaved in Virginia in the mid 1800’s, who sets upon her journey to freedom, assisted by family, abolitionists, African traditions, love, courage and determination.
According to Ifé, the short film invites audiences into Willie Mae’s environment, creating connection and intimacy for those who lived their lives in chattel slavery. This story represents the transformation of the enslaved into freedom seekers on the path to liberation.
Following the film, Ifé, Dr. Garcia and RHS students will host a discussion with the community about the film, its impacts and the struggles that continue today for the BIPOC communities across the country.
Teaching Black History Month--Five Ideas From PBS
Commemorate Black History Month in your classroom with lesson plans and resources that cover topics ranging from civil rights events to discussions about race in current events. These lessons are appropriate for history, ELA and social studies classrooms, and include resources for students in middle or high school.
This resource page includes a quick guide to the March on Washington, an interactive timeline of the civil rights movement and a glossary of terms. Use these to get started on your classroom curriculum.
Racial equality — How far have we come and how far do we still need to go?
Martin Luther King., Jr. dreamed of an America where people could "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Use this lesson plan to start a discussion in your classroom about where we are on the path to realizing this dream.
A history of discrimination and its consequences
In this lesson for middle and high school students, students analyze what "The American Dream" means and what role racial discrimination may play in failing to attain that dream.
Analyzing "Stop and Frisk" through personal narratives and infographics
This Common Core-aligned lesson helps students explore the New York City’s “stop, question and frisk” program through videos, graphics and a news article. An engaging introduction creates a foundation to help students understand infographics and their utility as a cross-curricular tool.
Help Learners Celebrate Black History with These Videos, Lessons, Podcasts, and More from Common Sense Education
Essential Sites and Curricula for All Ages
Click the button below to find a library of Black History Month resources for all grade levels that includes videos, texts, lessons, podcasts, and more. These resources include activists, art and culture, inventors, engineers, historical events, and beyond.
Every resource Common Sense Education has curated here has a suggested grade band, but many are flexible and adaptable to just about any age group.