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. [Editor's Note: An updated version of this topic can be found here: Black History Month]

  • Encyclopedia Britannica Guide to Black History5 stars

    With over 600 articles, hundreds of photographs and several dozen film and sound clips, this Encyclopedia Britannica guide is extensive. Timeline traces the yearly contributions of African-Americans in politics, industry, arts, religion, sports and education. If you're looking for a specific person or topic, try the alphabetic indices in Biographies, Places and Things, or Subject Browse. Editor's Choice is a collection of a dozen articles on niche topics such as Motown and Ebonics. Teacher guides and five classroom projects are listed in Activities.

  • In Motion: African American Migration Experience5 stars

    The slave trade is the most well-known African American immigration story, but there were eleven other voluntary waves of migration that shaped today's black culture. With 8,300 images, 17,000 pages of texts and over 60 maps, In Motion (from the New York Public Library) tells the story of those "voluntary movements of resourceful and creative men and women, risk-takers in an exploitative and hostile environment" providing a "new interpretation of African American history."

  • PBS: African American World5 stars

    "From Sojourner Truth to Jacob Lawrence, discover the courage and talent that shaped African American experience." PBS African American World is my Black History pick of the day because of it's appealing layout and great content. Highlights are the Kids section (with games and e-cards), and the Brainteaser Quizzes in each of the four content channels: History, Arts & Culture, Race & Society, Profiles. Click on Classroom for related lessons plans for grades three through twelve.

  • Scholastic: Culture & Change: Black History in America4 stars

    My favorite click at this Scholastic site (written for elementary and middle-school students) is the Interactive Timeline. As you scroll along it, clicking on featured dates, you'll see a small info box with details about the event, and just above it, a Web Link to an external site for more depth. I also liked the multimedia History of Jazz (complete with audio samples), the Related Booklists for grades K-9, and the features on Rosa Parks, Melba Patillo, and Top Ten African American Inventors. Did you know peanut butter was invented by George Washington Carver?

  • Time for Kids: Black History Month4 stars

    Start your tour with the Black History Timeline (Then to Now) to prepare for the interactive quiz game Civil Rights History Challenge. "Retrace the marchers' steps by answering our questions about the fight for equal rights." Next is a popular culture quiz. Can you recognize six famous modern-day African Americans by their baby pictures?

  • By February 1,2006

  • 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!



    The black man, the father of civilization, proven by Biblical history
    The black man, the father of civilization, proven by Biblical history
    by James Morris Webb
    (Paperback)
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    Price: $9.56

    Common Core Standards and Black History Month: A Thematic Guide to Black History in Literature and Informational Texts for Middle School Educators
    Common Core Standards and Black History Month: A Thematic Guide to Black History...
    by Pat Scales
    (Kindle Edition)
    100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History (100 Series)
    100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History (100 Series)
    by Chrisanne Beckner
    (Paperback)
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    Price: $4.48