Black History Month

Barbara J. Feldman

In 1915, historian Carter G. Woodson proposed a “Negro History Week” to honor the history and contributions of African-Americans. Nine years later, his dream became reality. Woodson chose the second week of February to pay tribute to the birthdays of two Americans that dramatically affected the lives of Blacks: Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14). The week-long observance officially became Black History Month in 1976.

  • Biography.com: Black History5 stars

    "African-American history is filled with the tales of inspiring individuals ? many of whom overcame great odds to leave their mark on the United States." A good number of these heros are featured on Biography.com's Black History mini site, their stories told through videos and photo slideshows. The biographies are organized (in the left-hand menu) by field of accomplishment, such as inventors, scientists, athletes and entertainers. An interactive history of America's black community is provided in a timeline (don't miss it!) and there are study guides for educators and parents.

  • Encyclopedia Britannica: Guide to Black History5 stars

    Encyclopedia Britannica has been providing comprehensive guides to just about everything since 1768. Their Guide to Black History begins with a short summary. "The story of African Americans in the United States is one of both immeasurable suffering and soaring hope." Next, peruse the topics in the left-hand menu: Source Documents, Biographies, Timeline, Image Gallery, and an Internet Guide of related links. For the classroom, there are five learning activities for middle-school students.

  • PBS: African American World5 stars

    PBS' African American World is divided into four channels: History, Arts & Culture, Race & Society, and Profiles. In addition to features on specific African Americans, this highly interactive site offers quizzes, games, free e-cards, screensavers, and computer wallpaper. For K-12 teachers, there are dozens of lesson plans. And on the right-hand side of the main page, be sure to read the daily tidbit about an interesting event "On This Day" in Black American history.

  • Scholastic: Black History in America5 stars

    This Scholastic site is chock full of resources on Black History for students, teachers and parents. Best clicks for students are the interactive features such as "Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights" and "The Underground Railroad: Escape from Slavery." Printable worksheets about heros such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Harriet Tubman are listed on the right-hand side of the front page . The Teacher's Guide includes lesson plans, mini-books, and whiteboard activities.

  • Smithsonian Education: Black History Resources5 stars

    From the Smithsonian Center for Education, these Black History resources include a reading list about African-American inventors, a guide to African-American art, and a special on African-American pioneers in aviation. Don't miss the Virtual Heritage Tour. "Twelve objects have been chosen from the Smithsonian collection to help you understand African American history and culture in a new way." Muhammend Ali's boxing gloves, a Bessie Coleman postage stamp, and a slave collar are just three of the objects explored in this excellent interactive lesson.

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Black History Month." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 14 Feb. 2012. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/black-history-month/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published February 14, 2012. Last modified March 9, 2014.

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