It’s Black History Month! Be sure to visit Hot Topic – African-American Heritage to learn more.


black historyThe Hot Topic – African-American Heritage provides in-depth resources on black culture, issues and events, along with profiles of famous figures and leaders. Find primary source images from the slavery movement and more.

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Black History Month


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Need information for African-American History Month? Need lesson plans? Looking for a timeline, primary sources & more? See our new Hot Topic – African-American Heritage for everything you need.

Military History of African Americans


Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. watches a Sig...

Image via Wikipedia

The military history of African Americans dates back to colonial times, when African-American patriots fought against the British in the Revolutionary War.

Today, more than two million African Americans serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Quiz Question: Many African Americans have served in distinguished positions throughout the centuries. In 1940, who became the first African American to serve as a general officer in the U.S. Army?

A. Benjamin O. Davis Sr.
B. Calrton W. Kent
C. Henry O. Flipper
D. Jesse L. Brown

Article(s) | Site(s):
African-American ‘Firsts’ Key to Army History

Related Photo/Multimedia:
African Americans in the Civil War

Find out more! Dive into this topic by logging on to SIRS Knowledge Source®.

Suggested Reading for African American Heritage Month


Our eMedia Catalog has a great selection of ebooks, eAudio, eMusic and eVideos for all ages.  Here’s a sample of what’s available for African American Heritage Month:

eBooks

eAudio/eVideo

African American Challenges


What we now call Black History Month started in 1926 as “Negro History Week.” Carter Godwin Woodson, an NAACP leader (the NAACP celebrated its 100th anniversary in January 2009), was instrumental in getting the official month-long celebration recognized by Congress.

The month of February was selected because both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, champions of the struggle for African American equality, were born in that month.

Here are excerpts from the words of President Obama recognizing the observance of Black History Month:
Nearly 100 years after the Civil War, African Americans still faced daunting challenges and indignities. Widespread racial prejudice inhibited their opportunities, and institutional discrimination such as ‘black codes’ and Jim Crow laws denied them full citizenship rights. Despite these seemingly impossible barriers, pioneering African Americans blazed trails for themselves and their children. They became skilled workers and professionals. They purchased land, and a new generation of black entrepreneurs founded banks, educational institutions, newspapers, hospitals, and businesses of all kinds.

This month, we recognize the courage and tenacity of so many hard-working Americans whose legacies are woven into the fabric of our Nation. We are heirs to their extraordinary progress. Racial prejudice is no longer the steepest barrier to opportunity for most African Americans, yet substantial obstacles remain in the remnants of past discrimination. Structural inequalities—from disparities in education and health care to the vicious cycle of poverty—still pose enormous hurdles for black communities across America.

Overcoming today’s challenges will require the same dedication and sense of urgency that enabled past generations of African Americans to rise above the injustices of their time. That is why my Administration is laying a new foundation for long-term economic growth that helps more than just a privileged few.

Research/Learning Activity
SIRS Issues Researcher provides a variety of Leading Issues that directly impact African Americans. Assign students to research either a pro or con position on one of the issues listed below.

Students should address the essential question for the issue in a SIRS model written report or slide presentation.

Students should cite at least three resources in addressing the Pro or Con essential questions for the selected issue.
Research Pathfinders

Each of these issues is one of many that continues to impact African Americans to a greater extent than mainstream Americans. The pathfinders below are all accessed by first clicking SIRS Issues Researcher link in SIRS Knowledge Source, then VISUAL BROWSE.

#1: Click School, Family, and Youth icon > Family > Single Parents

#2: Click School, Family, and Youth icon > Alternative Education > School Vouchers

#3: Click Economics, Business, and Law icon > Criminal Justice > Discrimination in Criminal Justice Administration

ProQuest also provides another 21st Century skills model for students to demonstrate what they have learned through their research: A mini-debate format, which can be completed in roughly three class periods.