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Black History Month, Week 1: History That Cannot Be Silenced

It's February, and Black History month is one week in. While I think Black history (or the history of any oppressed people) should have much more than a month (meaning: we should discuss these histories just as much as we discuss Eurocentric history), I can appreciate the benefits of setting aside time to dig deeper into a particular culture or people.

To do that, we must teach beyond than the status quo stories we often give students. Each Friday this month (or more), I'll post some ideas, folks to follow, and blog pieces about Black history, the work Black teachers are doing and how they are engaging in this month with their students.

  • The New York Times has an interactive project titled "Unpublished Black History." The project aims to "explore photographs and back stories -- of Malcolm X, Lena Horne, Run-DMC and others -- that were never told in [the New York Times's] pages, or have been mostly forgotten."
    • Possible lesson idea: Each day or once a week, send students home with one of these quotes or images. Ask them to analyze the image and answer: "What did you learn? What surprised you? Why do you think this person/image/etc. was silenced or forgotten? Why does it matter to learn about these figures/moments?" Come back the next day whole group and discuss.

I am excited to continue learning about past, present, and future examples of Black excellence and perseverance in American history. It's easy to forget that, even as educators, many of us were not exposed to the full stories. While we educate students, I am excited for the opportunity to continue educating myself as well. 

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