Each February, schools, civic institutions, theaters, museums, and more dedicate themselves to telling the stories of African Americans in the U.S. Known formally as African American History Month, and more colloquially as Black History Month, it’s a time meant to reflect on the contributions of African Americans to American and world history, as well as that history itself, and the ways that history affects us today.
Below, we’ve collected a number of digital resources to help you create learning around this month of reflection and celebration.
The national African American History Month website includes a bevy of resources and can serve as a great starting point for teachers and students.
- Find dozens of digital exhibitions on a variety of topics like art, culture and folklife, civil rights, slavery and emancipation, and much more. This page collects exhibits from a number of institutions including the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, the National Park Service, U.S. Holocaust Memorial, and many others, making this a one-stop shop for online presentations and exhibits.
- Connect with their vast collection of audiovisual resources, including a number of fascinating primary and secondary sources, panel discussions, and more.
- Resources for teachers can help cover a number of teaching strategies at many levels. Check out the resources available to educators, including lesson plans, activities, and helpful research aids and guides.
- Images can be a powerful way to connect with the past (and the present). Whether images are part of a teaching strategy or you’re simply looking for images to fill your slides, you can delve into the site’s deep library of striking historical images.
More Sources of Inspiration
With so many organizations across the nation celebrating and teaching about African American history, there are many more virtual resources and sites to dig into for useful teaching inspiration and even ready-made teaching tools.
- Discover the origin of the month-long event itself in this outline from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. A briefer version of the history is available in this piece from TIME. Younger learners may benefit from this background article from National Geographic Kids.
- Research-based learning can always benefit from sources. Find a trove of sources from the Library of Congress.
- Edutopia shares this collection of ed tech resources to help explore the month, including mobile apps, digital libraries, and even tools to help you create reflective audio recordings and podcasts.
- Education World has gathered a thorough list of activities and projects that cover the course of African American history, from the Transatlantic slave trade to the modern day.
- Teaching Tolerance has developed a lesson plan focused on going “beyond trauma and struggle to examine the liberation, civic engagement, creativity, and intersecting identities of Black people during Black History Month.”
- You can find new resources, and decide which are right for your learning goals, with this list of vetted resources from Common Sense.
- The PBS NewsHour has a number of classroom-ready resources organized by grade level.
More from TechNotes
There are always more to explore. Check out the posts below for additional useful tools and insights for teaching U.S. History, the African-American experience, and other topics related to civics and civil and political rights.
- Teaching and Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (2021)
- Digital Resources for MLK Day (2020)
- Understanding This Moment through Civic Education
- Exploring Civil Rights History with Digital Resources
- Digital Resources to Celebrate and Teach Juneteenth
- Exploring Local History During Remote Learning