Dear Future Teachers,
Black History Month began last Tuesday, February 1st! The entire month of February is usually dedicated to uplifting and recognizing the contributions of the Black community throughout history. There are many ways to honor and remember the monumental impacts that Black people have had on our world. Schools also tend to have specific curriculum centering Black History Month for their students. Today I wanted to share the books and stories that teachers at my internship site have introduced to their students as a way to honor Black History Month.
Promises To Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America by Sharon Robinson
My 5th graders are currently reading Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America by Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson. The book details who Jackie Robinson was, both as an athlete, and as someone who made history by breaking down the race barrier in professional baseball. Robinson was candid in that being the first Black man in professional baseball was difficult, and came with a lot of pushback. Sharon Robinson also details how her father was an activist for racial equality and how his legacy is still felt to this day. The book has a lot of photographs and artifacts (and it's an excellent book to teach text features with) that is perfect for the upper elementary classroom.
Order your own copy here.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
My 6th grade students are currently reading Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, which highlights the story of the African-American women that worked as mathematicians for NASA. These women, namely Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan, were incredible mathematicians who played a crucial part in getting U.S. astronauts to the moon. Since these incredible women worked for NASA during a time of segregation, their contributions were long overlooked and hidden from the narrative of the U.S. trip to outer space. Hidden Figures tells the important story of the remarkable contributions these women made to U.S. space exploration that continue to inspire us to this day.
Order your own copy here.
A World Without Black People by Philip Emeagwali
The final story that I am sharing is from the 4th grade class at my internship site. It is a short story titled A World Without Black People by Philip Emeagwali. This story highlights what the world would look like without the inventions and contributions of Black people. It's an excellent way to highlight the lasting impact that Black people have had on our world. Students truly enjoyed this story and loved learning about the various every-day objects that we use thanks to the minds and work of Black individuals!
Check out the story here.
There are a ton of books that you can use in your own classroom to highlight the achievements of the Black community and teach about Black History. It's also important to highlight these stories and history year-round, not just in the month of February. If you have more books that you feel are fantastic reads that you share to teach about Black History, please send them via email at email@example.com or through the Contact Form on my Home page!