20 Black History Month Activities for February and Beyond

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16. Host a poetry reading.

Source: Library of Congress

Have students choose a poem or two by a black poet to learn and recite for the class or an audience made up of school community members. And don’t forget the ambiance! Choose a student to serve as the emcee, write up a program, dim the lights, and play some jazz in between performances. The Poetry Foundation has excellent resources that can help get you started.

17. Reimagine your geography lesson.

Source: Library of Congress

Did you know that between 1915 and 1970 millions of African Americans left the South and resettled in places like Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York? Or that after the Civil War many African Americans, known as Exodusters, made their way to the Great Plains? Pull out your map and teach your students about the whys, wheres, and hows African Americans moved about the country and how such demographic shifts shaped the United States we know today. 

18. Hold court.

Source: ThurgoodMarshall.com

Your future legal eagles will enjoy learning about the key Supreme Court cases that helped African Americans secure rights, the events and efforts that sparked the cases, and the aftermath of those court decisions. Be sure to mention Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice and the lead lawyer in the Brown case, along the way.

19. Listen up.

RadioPublic has an excellent roundup of podcasts about black history for you and your students to listen to.

20. The play’s the thing.

Source: August Wilson Theatre

With his American Century Cycle, playwright August Wilson explored African American life during the 20th century. Use the resources centered on the ten plays that make up the cycle to unpack that rich history.

What Black History Month activities do you use in the classroom? Come share in our WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook. 

And if you’re looking for more Black History month ideas, check out our free posters here.

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