As communities recognize Black History Month, Not In Our School continues to support initiatives that build community, foster allyship, and escalate solidarity.
Here are some suggested films and lessons to promote learning and discussion about the Black experience in America.
The first African-American woman to own and publish a newspaper, The Eagle (later, The California Eagle), Charlotta Bass was a tireless advocate for social change and one of the most influential African-Americans of the 20th century. Based in Los Angeles, Bass utilized the newspaper as a platform to address issues of race and gender equality, police brutality, and media stereotyping in an era when women and African Americans were largely being excluded from public discourse.
Access the lesson at: https://www.niot.org/nios/lesson/extraordinary-upstander-charlotta-bass
Embracing the Dream: Lessons from the NIOT Movement
Not In Our Town honors Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy by sharing the real-life stories of people who are applying Dr. King’s principles today. Though the political landscape has changed since the Civil Rights era, his dream that the United States would fulfill its promise of equality has yet to become reality. But Dr. King’s work proves that change is possible in this country. View the video at https://www.niot.org/nios-video/embracing-dream
The communities in Embracing the Dream: Lessons from the Not In Our Town Movement are living proof of that—town by town, school by school, they demonstrate that change is happening.
Access the study guide at: https://www.niot.org/sites/default/files/EmbracingDream_StudyGuide_0.pdf
From Learning for Justice Resources:
BLACK HISTORY MONTH: TEACHING THE COMPLETE HISTORY
Go beyond trauma and struggle to examine the liberation, civic engagement, creativity, and intersecting identities of Black people during Black History Month.
Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching Black History
How do you ensure students get the most out of Black History and Black History Month? Here are some suggestions.
Kids Explain Black History Month
The fight for civil rights didn’t just include adults. Kids like 7 years old, Ayanna Najuma braved harsh consequences to make their communities more inclusive.
Black Student Voices
Education Week spoke with 10 Black high school students from across the country about how they think issues of race and racism should be handled in school. In the second video of this series, students talk about their experiences discussing race in the classroom. The students shared concerns about the lack of representation in the curriculum, open conversations about racial injustice, and diversity education for all students and educators. Some students also spoke about positive experiences talking about race and what their teachers did to make the conversations meaningful and productive. In the next two installments, the students will talk about the impact of policing in schools and what they want educators to know.
From Facing History:
The Power of Representation
Use this mini-lesson to help students learn about the groundbreaking careers of Patsy Takemoto Mink and Shirley Chisholm and to consider the significance of Vice President Kamala Harris’s election.
Art, Imagination, and the Quest for Racial Justice
Students learn about the power of art as a tool for social change and explore how Black Lives Matter activists are using art in the fight for racial justice.
From News Sources:
When Blackness was a Superpower
students will learn about the wave of new Black superhero stories and how they are reimagining the genre. Then, students will create and pitch their own superhero reboot.
Interview with John Lewis
As a young man, John Lewis was inspired by the words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At StoryCorps, Congressman Lewis told his friend Valerie Jackson how he met Dr. King and went from “the boy from Troy” to a civil rights leader in his own right.