Looking for our printable products for Black History Month? Scroll down to the bottom of the page!
A whole month of Black History Education & Appreciation
Celebrating Black History Month is a great way to bring residents and community employees of all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds together to create a psychologically and emotionally healthy community.
Black History Month was started in 1917 by the “Father of Black History” author, journalist, and historian, Carter G. Woodson. He believed that equality was only possible through the education, acknowledgment, and understanding of a race’s history.
So how can you celebrate?
- Share Memories! This is a great way to learn about their individual experiences during these events and how the events made an impact on their lives. Encourage conversation about major events in history like the march on Washington in 1963 and the “I Have A Dream” speech.
- Choose quotes and have residents discuss why they resonated, or…
- Decorate your community in new Black and African-American quotes every day of the month. Each day, encourage residents and others to read and discuss the importance and meaning of the quotes. We have made it with our own printable ones.
- Sing songs of the civil rights movement together. Like: This Little Light of Mine and Oh, Freedom, We Shall Not Be Moved, A Change is Gonna Come. If you need a video or YouTube to help – here’s one.
- Teach your residents how to play Mancala, a fun African game that is played with 48 stones and a board with 14 bins. If you don’t have Mancala boards, you can use egg cartons and pebbles. You can learn how to play Mancala here.
- Plan with Dining Services to celebrate the foods of African-American culture by having a Black History Month Dinner. Serve foods like cornbread, steamed greens, black-eyed peas, chicken, and pork. You can even choose to let residents share their favorite recipes for different dishes and serve those at the dinner. OR you can have residents choose recipes from famous Black American chefs.
Have a Poetry Reading
Cold February evenings are perfect to have residents gather around the fireplace and recite a poem or two of their choice. Let them talk about the poems and how they interpret the lyrics. You can find a variety of different poems at The Poetry Foundation.
Some of the most famous Black Poetry includes:
- ‘On Being Brought from African to America’ – Phyllis Wheatley
- ‘Caged Bird’ – Maya Angelou
- ‘Coal’ – Audre Lorde
- Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem ‘The Hill We Climb’
Share in the History
Read more about famous Black History events below – spark a discussion with the residents about the events. Ask questions like “Where were you when this was happening?” and “How did this event impact your life?”:
- Harlem Renaissance
- Brown v. Board of Education
- Montgomery Bus Boycott
- Birmingham Church Bombing
- ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech
- Malcolm X Assassination
- Voting Rights Act of 1965
- Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination
- First African American Astronaut in Space
Book Club Activity
If your community has a book club, this is the perfect time to read a book on Black and African American history. Take this opportunity to educate and understand the impact made by African Americans in this country. You can choose to read a biography on famous Civil Rights Activists like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks, or you can read about significant events like the Birmingham Church Bombing.
Fantastic Fiction by African American Authors
- The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead – a promising teen named Elwood Curtis who is mistaken for a criminal and sent to the Nickel Academy, a boys reform school in Florida in the early 1960s.
- The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. – a love story about two enslaved men, Isaiah and Samuel, whose devotion to each other leads to trouble on a brutally run Mississippi plantation.
- Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi – a deeply moving story about a family who immigrated to Alabama from Ghana
- Blood Grove by Walter Mosley – Easy Rawlins, an unlicensed African American private detective who’ll stop at nothing to solve a case. But this new one is a mind-bender
- Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson – written in prose. It begins with 16-year-old Melody at her coming-of-age ceremony, held in her grandparents’ Brooklyn home.
- The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates – a slave named Hiram Walker, who was bestowed with a mysterious power as a child when his mother was sold and taken away from their Virginia plantation.
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – a thought-provoking story about identical twins Desiree and Stella and, decades later, their daughters. Light-skinned African Americans, the sisters flee their tiny Southern town as teenagers in the 1950s and end up taking very different paths.
- It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan – about a group of old friends in California. The focus is Loretha Curry, 68 (McMillan’s age, too), whose life is running along predictably as she manages her beauty-supply company in California when her husband dies suddenly.
And don’t forget Black History on the Screen
- Selma | (1998 | PG | Comedy, Romance
- Fences | 1995 | PG-13 | Comedy, Drama, Romance
- A Raisin in the Sun | 2013 | PG-13 | Drama, Romance
- Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? | 2015 | PG | Comedy, Drama, Romance
- Malcom X| 1951, 2010 | G, PG | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
- Glory | 1963 | Adventure, Drama, History
- The Jackie Robinson Story | 1964 | G | Comedy, Fantasy, Family
- Harriet | 2005 | PG | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
- Ray | 1995 | Drama, Romance
- Hidden Figures| 2019 | PG | Drama, Romance
- What’s Love Got to Do With It | 2014 | PG | Drama, Bio, Music
- Tuskegee Airmen| 1987 | G | Drama
- Bessie | (2001) | G | Family, Comedy, Romance
- Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom | (2020) | PG | Comedy, Drama, Romance
- Roots | (2010) | R | Biography, Drama, History