Celebrating Black History Month

By National PTA
Celebrate Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Americans throughout our country’s history. In education, many prominent Black figures have had a profound impact, shaping the education system we know today and driving real change to ensure all children have equal access to services and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

National PTA remains committed to promoting equity and inclusion in all aspects of education and partners with other organizations like the National Museum of African American History and Culture to provide additional resources and programs to students.

We encourage your school community to celebrate Black History Month and share the stories of Black educators, innovators, and pioneers. Here are a few ideas for activities you can do to celebrate Black History Month:

  • Host school-wide events, such as assemblies or cultural performances
  • Invite guest speakers to talk about Black history and culture
  • Create bulletin boards or displays that highlight the achievements of Black Americans
  • Read stories about Black History Month

In addition to celebrating, here are a few of the many notable Black educators who have helped shape the world we live in today:

Selena Sloan Butler

A remarkable pioneer in education, Butler founded the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) in 1920, which later merged with National PTA, worked to improve educational opportunities for Black children and strengthen communication between parents and teachers.

Mary McLeod Bethune

A leader in education, Bethune founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls, which later became Bethune-Cookman University, and served as an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Charlotte Forten Grimké

One of the first Black educators in the United States, Grimké taught at the Penn School in South Carolina in the 1850s. She was an advocate for racial equality and women’s rights, and her work helped to lay the foundation for the civil rights movement.

Kelly Miller

The first Black graduate student at Johns Hopkins University and the first Black professor at Howard University, Miller was a mathematician and sociology. He was a prolific writer and speaker, and his work helped to challenge racial stereotypes and promote equality.

Fanny Jackson Coppin

Coppin was the first Black female principal in the United States. She was a dedicated educator and advocate for Black education, and she founded the Iolani School for girls in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Charles Hamilton Houston

A lawyer and educator, Houston played a key role in dismantling racial segregation in the United States. He argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court, including the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, which outlawed segregation in public schools.

Rita Pierson

A teacher and motivational speaker, Pierson is known for her powerful advocacy for disadvantaged students. Her TED Talk, “Every Kid Needs a Champion,” has been noted as a “must-watch for anyone who cares about education.”

These are just a few of the many Black educators who have made a difference. By learning about their stories and celebrating their achievements, we can help to ensure that their legacy continues to inspire future generations. By celebrating Black History Month and promoting equity and inclusion, we are helping to create a more just and inclusive world for all children.

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