February is coming up soon, and for educators that means Black History Month is too. Below you’ll find a quick reference guide for several figures in American history (who I think are inspiring!) as well as a list of kid-friendly resources for Black History Month. This list is not comprehensive but provides some ideas to help you get started. Happy learning!
Notable Figures in U.S. History:
Phillis Wheatley (1753–84)
Phillis Wheatley distinguished herself as an early American poet. Her works clearly express her inner thoughts and reveal how much influence Christianity and a classical education had on her. “On Being Brought from Africa to America” uses color imagery on multiple levels to emphasize the poem’s message. What is arguably Wheatley’s most impressive accomplishment was her success in getting published at a time when few women—let alone those of African descent—were viewed as serious writers.
Hiram Rhodes Revels (1827-1901)
Mr. Revels served as a chaplain in the Civil War. After the war, he became the first African American U.S. Senator, representing the state of Mississippi. His willingness to forgive Confederates as well as his advocacy for racial equality marked his time in Congress. He was a true leader and a Christian.
Doris “Dorie” Miller (1919–43)
“Dorie” Miller bravely served his country in the U.S. Navy. December 7, 1941, was a defining day in his life. During the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Dorie quickly found a machine gun and returned fire on the enemy. He received the Navy Cross for his actions in the attack.
- Resources for Black History Month
- Reading 3B—Phillis Wheatley
- Fundamentals of Literature—James Weldon Johnson & Gwendolyn Brooks
- Elements of Literature—Langston Hughes & Martin Luther King Jr.
- Heritage Studies 5—Harlem Renaissance
- American Republic—Tuskegee Institute
- United States History—Race relations
What do you highlight during Black History Month?