Black History Month Worksheets
February is Black History Month in the U.S. and Canada. In the UK and Ireland, it is celebrated in October. Here are a number of printable worksheets for this topic.
- Alphabetic Order
- Alphabetic Order Answers
- Bingo Cards (Words) 1, 2, 3, 4
- Circle The Word Spelling
- Circle The Word Spelling Answers
- Cloze Worksheet (Word Bank; 5% removed)
- Cloze Worksheet (Word Bank; 10% removed)
- Cloze Worksheet (No Word Bank; 5% removed)
- Cloze Worksheet (No Word Bank; 10% removed)
- Cloze Worksheet Answer Key
- Crossword Worksheet
- Crossword Worksheet Answers
- Cryptogram Worksheet
- Group Creative Writing
- Missing Letter Spelling
- Missing Letter Spelling Answer Key
- Secret Decoder Message
- Secret Decoder Message Answers
- Spiral Vocabulary Worksheet
- Spiral Vocabulary Worksheet Answers
- Vocabulary Cross Out Worksheet
- Vocabulary Cross Out Answers
- Vocabulary Fill Puzzle
- Vocabulary Fill Puzzle Answers
- Vocabulary List & Definitions
- Vocabulary Maze
- Vocabulary Maze Answers
- Vocabulary Quiz
- Word Chop Worksheet
- Word Search
- Word Search Answer Key
- Word Search (Clue Based)
- Word Search (Clue Based) Answer Key
- Word Scramble
- Word Scramble Answer Key
Teacher Resources On This Theme
- Black History Month Lesson Plans
- Black History Month Teaching Theme
- Historical Documents Sites
- Martin Luther King Jr. Lesson Plans
- Martin Luther King Jr. Theme
- Martin Luther King Jr. Web Sites
- Martin Luther King Jr. Worksheets
- Slavery Teaching Theme
- Slavery Worksheets
- Teaching about the Slavery
Why is it Important to Celebrate Black History?
Everyone should remember history for the lessons it can teach us to shape a better future, free of the shortcomings. Itis integral to recall the efforts and sacrifices some of us made. African Americans have had an extremely evident role in American, and world history.
Black people have contributed to American society through academic, professional, and cultural aspects. It is vital for the world to not just talk about the sacrifices of the black community but also celebrate their successes and achievements.
Origins of Black history month
February is the month spent paying tribute to the many African American men and women. These men and women have played a vital role in the development of America and throughout the world. They have excelled in numerous fields, from politics to art and culture and everything in between.
Celebrating black history month dates back to 1926 when Carter G Woodson founded ‘Negro History Week.’ The American society was concealing the contributions of black people from their children and the world. So Carter's goal was to introduce school children to African American history.
But celebrating black history month was more than that. Carter hoped and successfully opened a discussion about the part of American history that Americans were unaware of. America had always celebrated heroes that were not African Americans. This gap in historical teachings, as a result, led to African Americans feeling isolated and looked down upon in a country their forefathers helped build up.
In such progressive times, while some people may still think black history month is unnecessary, in this article, let us look at a few compelling reasons why African Americans should collectively celebrate black history month.
Celebrating the success stories of African Americans
In our society which prides itself on being progressive, we are still holding onto some negative parts of our history. African Americans have been subject to racism in the past. Attitudes towards them took a while to change. This was not done overnight, but rather, after a continuous struggle.
There are plentiful positive contributions African Americans have made to American society. Celebrating Black history month is an opportunity for the world to observe and acknowledge the history of African Americans that is mostly concealed from people. America proudly lifts and celebrates the accomplishments of other ethnicities; however, the world needs to not just recall the unsung African American heroes, but honor their contributions to American history.
Celebrating black history month not only brings attention to the history of black people in the world but also, black history month is synonymous with celebrating the numerous success stories of African Americans that people possibly overlook. It is celebrating the relentless efforts of Martin Luther King to promote peaceful ways of dealing with societal problems and demanding civil rights for African Americans.
Celebrating Black history month is not only political. It also celebrates the success stories of African Americans in other areas of society, such as the musical setting. One of the most notable contributions they have made to American culture is introducing them to Jazz music, which essentially was an integral part of the 1920s. African American musicians like Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald have dominated the jazz music scene and in fact added great value to the music industry in general.
When we celebrate Black history month, we bring attention to all the contributions made by African Americans, not just historically but even today. It is celebrating a culture, a community that has been subjected to plenty of unfair behavior from society. Celebrating black history means listening to the stories of black people and applauding them for their resilience and contributions to building a society. A
Opens discussions about race
Race and racism are widely discussed as part of American and world history. Nevertheless, some people are still uncomfortable talking about race. The reason why this is common is because of varying factors that influence our perceptions. These influences can come from our social circles and the media we consume.
For a long time, American society has avoided discussing race and the history of African Americans. Therefore, they lack the tools and understanding of how to address these conversations. Some individuals are also unaware of the right ways to address "race."
Celebrating Black history month conveniently opens these discussions because no matter how uncomfortable one finds discussions about race, it is now more important than ever to embrace them openly rather than just brushing them under the carpet.When people get involved in celebrating Black history month, whether through contributing to promoting black culture or simply learning from it, it helps in breaking stereotypes and socially constructed and unrealistic divisions. Black history month opens space for fragile conversations, tolerance, and acceptance for black people and their rich heritage.
Provides an opportunity for possibilities
Celebrating Black history month is beneficial for the black Millenials. In American society, many African Americans have grown up feeling left out by the system, but reading the success storiesand the contributions they have made to building society, can be greatly inspiring for the younger generation, as it allows them to think of the opportunities they have for themselves.
The insights into the history of African Americans are today more relevant than ever, and celebrating black history month is definitely a way to embrace American culture fully and acknowledge their ancestor's efforts. There are numerous more reasons why people should celebrate Black history month, but it essentially comes down to paying tribute to the lives of African Americans historically and giving a much-needed positive recognition to their culture.
The history of the USA is rich, to say the least. The nation that the world knows as a superpower did not come about without the efforts and sacrifices of African Americans. Africans first came to America in 1619, but of course, by no means of their own free will. The rough estimate states that 10 million-plus people were enslaved and brought from Africa to America.
Most Africans were brought to America in captivity as enslaved people. As dehumanizing as this sounds today, it remains a defining part of Africans' history. But since then, Africans have shown resilience towards unjust attitudes and challenged the white race's dominance and "superiority."
History is proof of these iconic moments in African American history. In this article, let us look at a few of them in detail and chronologically.
1863- President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1.
As stated above, Africans were mostly purchased and brought as enslaved people into America. But people were starting to actively stand up against slavery. Unsurprisingly, this was a great influential factor in the civil war that spread across America in 1861, after prolonged tensions between the northern and southern states over slavery, among other matters.
Slavery and this civil unrest were a constant source of tension in the country, until
President Abraham Lincoln was elected. People referred to Lincoln as "The great emancipator." Abraham Lincoln actively worked against slavery. For the most part, Abraham Lincoln's public career was built on the principle of freeing African Americans.
Hee eventually signed the emancipation proclamation on January 1. This proclamation was, of course, a riveting moment in the history of African Americans, as this freed all enslaved people in the states that were rebelling as soon as the proclamation went into effect. Besides this, he was committed to supporting the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States of America.
1955- Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery Ala.
An incident that is synonymous with courage and resilience is that of the African American women Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. Although Parks was arrested eventually, her courage and resilience resonated well with the other African Americans.
More than that even, it started a dialogue about the basic rights of African American people. She, in fact, helped in initiating the civil rights movement, which is why many Americans also refer to her as the "First Lady of Civil Rights." When she refused to leave her seat, it encouraged the leaders of the local black community to instigate the Montgomery bus boycott, which was an entire year-long boycott.
Although what she did was as simple as just continuing to sit in her seat, the impact it had was groundbreaking, as her firmness led people to acknowledge her efforts to bring about an end to the racial segregation that was so prevalent in the American society. Even today, people remember her for the resilience she embodied for the sake of her community.
2008- President Barack Obama becomes the first African American President
In every country, there are bound to be minorities, and it is important that their voice is heard and they feel represented, especially in politics. And this is why when America elected Barack Obama as the 44th president of The United States of America.
Obama's selection as the president was a pivotal moment in African American history. In a country built on slavery, where most people looked down in disgust at African American, this was inspiring that now the same country selected an African American leader.
President Obama had the support of everyone and anyone in America, from different age groups and varying backgrounds. Black people in America were ecstatic because now this opened the horizons of possibilities for their community because if an African American could be the president of America, imagine what else they could achieve.
2020- Black Lives Matter Movement/George Floyd's Murder
This incident is a crucial moment in the history of African Americans. A police officer killed George Floyd 2020 as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground on the grounds of racial prejudice.
The fight against racism in a progressive society as progressive as America is still long and unfinished. Floyd's death was symbolic, just because of how he died, under the power of a white male, both literally and figuratively.
Floyd's death caused a massive outrage throughout America and globally, and it once again opened the rather uncomfortable but necessary conversations on racism.
The timeline of African American history dates a long time back. Their history is the testimony of the battles African Americans have had to fight for as long as they can recall.
Americans brought Africans as enslaved people to America. Americans did not see them as humans; for them, they were but a commodity they purchased for their sakes. America, a country that practices democracy, dehumanized African Americans.
Over the years, many leaders, activists, and cultural icons have fought hard against the system to gain their autonomy and respect, which the Americans have for a prolonged time eliminated.
These are just a few defining moments in African Americans' history where they have challenged the status quo. There are plenty of other leaders, activists, and cultural icons who, with their relentless efforts, have taken back the cultural heritage and identity that they were deprived of.
These people have proudly represented their rich cultural heritage. These historical events have uplifted the African community to the point that now the African American community has been thriving not just in America but elsewhere in the world. While the battle has not concluded, and there is still a long way to go, African Americans have found their rightful space in American society.
10 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month With Students
Every year the world collectively celebrates Black History Month in February. It is a significant step towards creating awareness of the African American history. It is also the month where we acknowledge what African Americans have experienced in their life and their political, social and cultural accomplishments and adversities.
Celebrating Black History Month, as a result, creates awareness, tolerance, and acceptance of diversity. Celebrating it with students is important because it teaches them a lot about the history of our country and its peoples. The conversations may be uncomfortable, but society needs to have these dialogues to progress further in a meaningful and positive direction.
We have a list of Black History Month activities you and your students can engage in to celebrate and honor the rich African American history and their cultural heritage.
1. Civil Rights Movement Posters
One of the key events in African American history is the Civil Rights Movement. To highlight that, ask your students to create interactive posters to fuse art with history and initiate a meaningful conversation about the movement.
2. Talk about the Black Lives Matter Movement
Whenever there is a social or political movement, there is always a small group of people who do not understand the aims of the movement. Similar is the case with the BLM movement. As part of the month’s activities ask the African American students in your class to explain what the movement means to them. This activity will lead to a rather moving and insightful conversation for your students.
3. Spoken Poetry
The reason why people always overlook the culture of African Americans is that the media reports more negative coverage than positive about them. . African American culture is truly rich, and spoken poetries always leave an impact on the listeners. Ask your students to pick a poem written by a Black poet to showcase and celebrate their culture, their stories and their literature.
4. Appreciate African Music
Speaking of culture, Africans have contributed greatly to the field of music. The genre of Jazz music was first introduced to the world by African musicians. Their music has not only been a source of entertainment, but it has paved the way for communicating beliefs, aspirations, joys, and much more to the world. As you celebrate their contributions, create a playlist of African music to listen to with your students,
5. Listen to Podcasts by African Americans
An integral thing to do when you are celebrating Black History Month is to listen to community and thought leaders, content creators and other key figures from the Black community. We live in a time where more and more people are listening to podcasts, so it is a perfect time to choose an informative or a personalized podcast by African Americans. Listening to people is always a great initiative when you want to understand people because we get access to unfiltered, untainted stories that are real and personal.
6. Recognize African American Figures
The world needs to acknowledge the efforts of people like Dr Martin Luther King Jr, who have had tremendous impact on socio-political grounds. Form groups of students and assign them an African American leader, scientist, cultural icon or a visionary to research and present to the rest of the class. This activity will help highlight the efforts and contributions African Americans have made in this world.
7. Discuss and tackle racism
Many people know what racism is, but they are not fully aware of the history of racism and the input of the world in that cruelty and discrimination.. Enlighten them about the roots of racism and help them unlearn their bias. Reconstruct their knowledge about history by conducting relevant seminars on the history of racism and what it means for the African American people.
8. "I have a dream."
Dreams are incredible. To be able to dream means to hold onto hope for a better world. Taking inspiration from one of the best speakers, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, ask your students to write about their dreams. Ask them, if they had fifteen minutes to talk to the world about diversity and world peace, what would they say?
9.Promote Books by African Authors
What people need to constantly do to achieve a fuller understanding of any matter is to read and listen. Books are a great way to study African American history and stories. There are so many Black writers who have written impeccable books that will answer all your questions about their culture and history.
Have a collection of those books in your class and encourage students to read them and write a review on them. This activity will help your students engage properly with the stories about African people and their history.
10. Support African-American-Owned Businesses
It is always useful to support not just local businesses but also businesses that are owned and managed by Black community members. . When you shop from these businesses, you are not only helping them monetarily but also representing their culture in a positive light and promoting their culture to other people. You can bring in jewelry or any other crafts that are made by African Americans, and students can purchase these if they want to. Have an impromptu crafts market at school!
Black History Month is greatly significant for African Americans because it is their attempt at regaining their voice,, which was unfairly lost in socio-political contexts. Celebrating Black History Month gives African Americans the opportunity to speak for themselves and honor all the efforts and sacrifices their ancestors have made in history.