Sunday, February 22, 2009

Topic of the Month: Black History Month

Black History Month originated in the 1920’s when history books and classes often neglected the significant roles that minorities, particularly African Americans, played in US history. However, the question today is should educators still specifically address Black History Month separately from the rest of the study of US history?

Today’s modern textbook publishers focus a great deal on social history intertwining the contributions of all minorities throughout their texts. The content at is a good example of minority contributions incorporated as part of the whole US history story rather than a footnote or separate section. Our modern classrooms are integrated environments where students have quick internet access to information on nearly any topic that interests them.

Yet, an argument can be made that there is simply too much history to study in a survey course and that important contributions by some individuals and groups may never be recognized without specifically addressing them in a format like Black History Month.

I do not expect to resolve the debate in this blog. Below are some resources for teaching Black History Month, but I would argue that these resources might be valuable all year rather than just in February.

For interactive timeline, games, and more

List of books and teaching resources

Time magazine

More educator resources

Smithsonian Virtual Tour

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