African-American History Month: Everything You Need To Know

African American History

February is African American History Month, a month set aside to celebrate and recognize the notable achievements of African Americans in American history. This celebration began as the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson and other African American leaders to recognize their distinct history. Every president since 1976 has recognized this month of remembrance.

African American History Study Guides

Make your study of African American history painless and easy to pull together. Use these pre-made resources to make your study the best yet!

Integrating Black History Month Lesson Plans into our Homeschool

Martin Luther King, Jr. Homeschool Unit Study

Free Martin Luther King Jr. Resource Guide

Lesson plan resources for Kindergarten – Fifth Grade

Lesson Plan Resources for Middle School African American Heritage Month

Lesson Plan Resources for High School African American Heritage Month

Eyes on the Prize: Website Dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement

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African American History Books

The study of African American history can be deepened by using a good quality text. Some of our favorites are highlighted here but click through the link below to find a wide selection of books for various ages.

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African American Historical Leaders and Famous People

The impact that African American historical leaders and famous people have had on American culture and the world is immense. Some of our favorites are highlighted here, but click through to discover many more amazing people that changed the course of history!

Rosa Parks Activist
Rosa Parks is known as the “First Lady of Civil Rights.” She is well known for refusing to give up her seat to a white man in 1955.

John Lewis Civil Rights
John Lewis is a politician and an American Civil Rights leader. He worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and is one of the last living “Big Six” from the Civil Rights Era.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was the most famous of all civil rights leaders. He was known for using non-violent tactics to accomplish needed reform.

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African American Major Inventions

African Americans are responsible for inventing many of the conveniences that we use every day. Everyone loves a good potato chip, right? Well, without George Crum and his tasty invention we’d be chipless! Find out about the potato chips and more!

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African American Fun Facts Puzzles

Click the Black History Month puzzles below to print and enjoy hours of fun!

       

African American Culture

  • Most African American culture is rooted in West and Central Africa but blended over the years with American culture. Today African American culture is distinctive, yet a significant part of American culture.
  • Oral Traditions have been meticulously passed on through narratives and stories written by prominent black authors One example would be the heroic tales of John Henry.
  • The Harlem Renaissance in the 1920-30s played an important role in the public recognition of African-American music, literature, and art.
  • “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (written in honor of President Lincoln) was adopted as the “Negro National Anthem” by the NAACP in 1919.
  • Throughout the 20th century, African American culture changed the face of popular music. Several musical forms with origins in the African-American community such as jazz, ragtime, blues, swing, Rock and roll, doo-wop, soul, rap, and R&B had transformed American popular music.

African American History Trivia

 

  • Did you know that the “Lone Ranger” was based on the historical figure Bass Reeves, a real Texas Marshall who had a Native American companion and rode a silver horse?
     
  • In 1920 the world gained the first licensed female African American pilot, named Bessie Coleman.
     
  • The earliest recorded protest against slavery was by the Quakers in 1688.
     
  • Inoculation was introduced to America by a slave named Onesimus. Cotton Mather accepted Onesimus’ encouragement to take some of the smallpox infection and scratch it into the skin of healthy people to build up immunity to the pox. Only 2% of those that did this died from smallpox that year.
     
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. improvised his “I Have a Dream” speech. Many black leaders had worked with him on his speech the night before, of which reportedly never contained anything about a dream.
     
  • Rosa Parks was not the first woman who refused to sit in the back of the bus. Claudette Colvin had been studying black leaders like Harriet Tubman and felt indignation by having to sit in the back of the bus. On March 2, 1955, 9 months before Rosa Parks, Claudette was arrested and put in jail for not moving to the back of the bus.

 

Quiz on the 1964 Freedom Summer

Test your knowledge of the civil rights movement and African American history with this quiz over the events of the 1964 Freedom Summer.

Other Helpful Links:

African American Homeschool Resources

Afrocentric Homeschooling in Black Families