Black history is American history. Black History Month in February provides an opportunity to discuss and reflect on the role Black Americans have played in shaping the United States.
While this dedicated time provides an opportunity to dig deeper into connections with the past, it’s also a reminder of the importance of providing a full and inclusive civics and history education, ensuring opportunities to learn about the history and contributions of Black Americans throughout the year.
Check out our resources for learning about the contributions of Black Americans to our nation’s shared history.
WATCH: Changemakers of the Civil Rights Era
All of our animated videos are two minutes or less in length and include a Teacher’s Guide with resources to support discussion and further learning. These videos were made in conjunction with Makematic.
Breaking Barriers: Constance Baker Motley
Judge Constance Baker Motley broke racial and gender barriers as the first African American woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, be elected to the New York State Senate, and be appointed a federal judge.
Ethel Payne: First Lady of the Black Press
As the second Black woman to be a member of the White House Press Corps, Ethel Payne used her position to ask the questions others didn’t and bring civil rights issues to the front page.
Our Untold Stories: Changemakers of the Civil Rights Era video series highlights the lives and work of civil rights activists who are often left out of history books. Find all of our animated videos, including other untold stories from different times in history, on our “teach” page.
LEARN: Explore the Road to Civil Rights
The Road to Civil Rights
Discover the people, groups, and events behind the Civil Rights Movement. In this lesson, students will learn about nonviolent protest, opposition to the movement, and how it took all three branches of the federal government to effect change.
As a result of this lesson, students will be able to use primary documents and images to discover ways in which state and local governments restricted the newly gained freedoms of African Americans after the Civil War. Students will also explore the two approaches of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois in resistance to Jim Crow.
DO: Practice Using Primary Sources
Our DBQuests are a great way to teach students how to draw evidence from texts to support analysis and reflection. DBQuests introduce students to major questions in civics and history, which guide deep examination of three selected primary resources.
Little Rock: Executive Order 10730 DBQuest
In 1957, Little Rock Central High School was desegregated using federal forces. In this DBQuest, students will explore how executive orders can be used to enforce the law. Download the support materials of this DBQuest to engage students in the story of the Little Rock Nine and the integration of Central High School.
The Nashville Sit-Ins DBQuest
What makes a movement successful? The people, actions, or outcome? In this DBQuest, students find out that answering this question is more involved than it may seem. Each of the three primary sources reveals a new perspective on the Nashville Sit-In Movement of 1960, and leads to a deeper understanding of what it means to work for change.