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Happy Black History Month!
This month is all about celebrating the achievements of black and indigenous black people of colour in the past and the contemporary world. Black history month was first proposed by black educators, teachers, and students at Kent State University in 1969 (That’s not that long ago!) It was President Gerald Fold who recognized black history month in 1976 urging Americans to celebrate the neglected accomplishments of Black and IBPOC.
This important month started being celebrated in the UK in the 1980s and has brought awareness to the treatment black people receive due to the colour of their skin. Therefore, Black History Month is a great opportunity to ensure that your students, no matter the background, learn of the accomplishments of Black British people!
Like every year, Black History Month has a theme. For 2021, the theme is ‘Proud to Be’. To get involved in this year’s campaign, check out this link.
Here at Emile, we have prepared resources that can be easily used in your classroom! From Powerpoints, ideas and activities – as always, we’ve got your back.
Black History Resources
A quick PowerPoint to warm up the conversation.
History is rich in culture, important people, and historic achievements. Students should know who made history and how is making history today. This PowerPoint celebrates black historical figures that are not widely popular, although their achievements have given way for many others to fight injustice.
Use literature to explore Black British History.
Before TV, phones, cameras, and video recorders people would write diaries, autobiographies, notes, stories… etc. Young learners need to know about the experiences black people face. One great way to explore these key events of history is through writing and poetry.
There are tons of resources available online, however, these are our top four books that are a perfect addition to your class.
Black and British — a beautiful collection of the essentials all learners should know. Available in most libraries, but you can also get an audio version, which would make storytime in class more interesting!
Little Leaders — There are two versions of this book: Bold Women in Black History and Exceptional Men in Black History. For those who have an audible account, you can get the audiobook for free! Both books contain inspirational people, who have helped shape the world we live in today, for example Rosa Parks and Dr Mae Jamison.
All Are Welcome — a picture book that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. It is about welcoming each person as they are, accepting their background, culture, and beliefs.
This Jazz Man — the perfect book to explore the rhythm and beats that originated from African American people. Introducing young learners to popular and classical musicians that have influenced the way we make music today!
Watch Short-Films Together:
Short films have been used for a long time to emphasise certain topics. That is why it might be a good idea to include engaging videos that educate learners on Black British History. The Public Broadcasting Service has a collection of resources you can watch on their website, why don’t you check it out?
Here is one of their Black History Month educational videos.
We have created some fun worksheets to help students understand Black History Month, key historical figures and vocabulary that will expand their knowledge.
As always, our worksheets are free to download and print!
Discuss current movements and contemporary issues
It is important to talk about the experiences black people live through. Therefore, bringing awareness to these contemporary issues is essential. This way we can educate one another, changing the way we treat and think about others. By dismantling stereotypes, discussing the Black Lives Movement — students can be better educated and a better ally, changing history themselves.
Lastly, make sure black history isn’t just celebrated for one month, but celebrated daily in your classroom!