MY HERO Celebrates Black History Month. Be Inspired by African American Civil Rights Heroes and World Leaders Barack Obama, Ralph Bunche, Michelle Obama.
MY HERO Celebrates Black History Month. Be inspired by African American Heroes in Music, Art, and Literature: Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Dizzy Gillepsie, Louis Armstrong, more.
Black History Month | Lesson Plan
Lesson Plan for Teachers: Have students read the following Intro and MY HERO stories on Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Katherine Johnson. Then watch the short documentary (5:45) on Congressmember John Lewis and use the discussion guide questions to explore the concepts of character, heroism, historical representation and erasure, and citizenship.
The historian Carter Woodson is known as the "Father of Black History Month."
In 1926, he established Negro History Week. He chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Half a century later, this observance evolved into Black History Month, which we celebrate the entire month of February.
Frederick Douglass understood the power of stories. He wrote several autobiographies through his life, from slavery to statesman. He was a powerful advocate for the Abolitionist and Suffragist movement, and famous orator and writer.
(1) Carter Woodson, a Harvard historian, chose February for Black History Week, because it had both the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
- Why were Lincoln and Douglass important to Black History?
- What character traits did they demonstrate that make them heroes?
(2) Carter Woodson started the Association for the Study of African American Life and History because he felt the contributions of African Americans were "overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them."
- In light of Woodson's quote, why do you think Frederick Douglass wrote multiple autobiographies? What might have happened if he did not write down his life story?
- How was storytelling important for Abraham Lincoln? What does historian Doris Goodwin Kearns think about the stories told in marble in Washington, versus the stories about the ones we love?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said "history cannot ignore W.E.B. Dubois." Dubois was a leading 20th century writer and scholar who laid the intellectual foundations of African American literature and civil rights movement.
(3) Let's return to the Carter Woodson quote: Woodson thought the contributions of African Americans were "overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who used them."
- How does Woodson's quote relate to the story of Katherine Johnson, and the title of the movie about her, Hidden Figures?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said "history cannot ignore W.E.B. Dubois." Based on your reading of the story, what do you think King meant by his statement? Why is what he said true or not true?
- What can we do today to keep stories from being overlooked, ignored or suppressed?
In the film Citizenship, Congressman John Lewis states when the laws conflict with our conscience, we have an obligation to disobey the laws.
- Do you agree or disagree with Lewis?
- Were the civil rights activists of the 1960s successful in changing the laws by breaking the laws?
- What character traits do you think a good citizen possesses?
- As a student, what tools do you have in your power to affect laws in your country?
Black Future Month | Lesson Plan - Emerging Filmmakers
The following films, which were recognized at the MY HERO International Film Festival, are by two young emerging African American student filmmakers. How do these films look back at history and also tell us about the African American experience today? How do each filmmakers' personal beliefs and individual styles influence the content of each film?
An expressionistic account of a devastating historical event by emerging filmmaker Gabrielle Gorman.
Black History Month | Featured Hero: John Lewis
To Celebrate Black History Month, we present stories, films, art and audio from the MY HERO archive highlighting the life of Congressman and Civil Rights Hero John Lewis.
John Lewis was involved in the Civil Rights Movement as a young man and then later became a member the House of Representatives from the state of Georgia.
Did you know? You can get inspired and learn about a new hero every day of the year. Check out the MY HERO Calendar for 365 days of heroes.
Links to more Black History Month resources.
Organizer created on 1/26/2015 12:46:18 PM by
Last edited 2/27/2019 1:45:07 PM by Xenia Shin