Black History Month: Celebrate and Advocate
Black History Month provides an opportunity for school counselors – and all K-12 educators – to further explore their role in dismantling racism and advocating for change. Whether it’s challenging textbooks and curricula that mispresent history to celebrating Black identities and Black excellence, this is an effort that must continue every day, year-round. In a recent article in USA Today, LaGarrett J. King, founding director of the CARTER Center for K-12 Black History Education at the University of Missouri, offered several guiding principles for educators when teaching black history:
- Power, oppression and racism
- Black agency, perseverance and resistance
- Africa and the African diaspora
- Black joy and Black love
- Black identities – other than heterosexual, Christian, middle-class Black men
- Black historical contention and the problematic aspects of Black history
- Black excellence
Consider the following resources as you reflect on your role and seek opportunities to effect change, as well as plan lessons and interventions:
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History is the founding organization of Black History Month. ASALH has chosen The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity as the theme for 2021.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture has planned a month of targeted programming that includes virtual programs for students.
Blackpast is an online reference center that includes an encyclopedia of more than 4,000 entries, links to major African American museums and research centers and much more.
Visit Share My Lesson for lesson plans curated by teachers, school counselors and other faculty appropriate for Black History Month.
Learn more and engage with 1619 Project, which is working to develop curricula that reframes “U.S. history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as our nation’s foundational date.” Check out the curriculum resources here.
The National Education Foundation offers a selection of lesson plans targeted to grade level categories.
Celebrate Black heroes with this great biographical resource from National Geographic Kids.
The U.S. Department of Education offers some more general guidelines for a wide range of activities for cultivating a greater appreciation of African American’s in America’s rich culture.
A Mighty Girl has curated several books for students about pioneering African American women throughout history as well as books about courageous girls and women of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
ASCA U Specialist Training: Diversity Equity and Inclusion Specialist (free to members and nonmembers)