UltraViolet’s Black History Month Curriculum
With countless books, documentaries, online archives and even college syllabi available online, learning on the internet can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. Sometimes it helps to have a roadmap, which is why we created a curriculum for this year’s Black History Month.
This curriculum is not meant to be comprehensive—even a lifetime’s worth of Black History Months wouldn’t allow enough time to cover Black America’s rich and layered history. What this curriculum will do, is offer a daily “assignment,” which asks you to read, watch, or explore one thing from the internet’s treasure trove of free resources. All “assignments” are accessible to anyone with internet access, and most can be completed in twenty minutes or less.
Whether you take on one assignment a day, or a few at once, let us know what you’re learning by tweeting us at @UltraViolet. Happy Black History Month!
Add three books from Zora’s 100 Books by Black Women Authors to your reading list or library queue. (Extra Credit: Count how many of these books you were assigned to read in high school.)
Watch Kimberlé Crenshaw’s TED Talk: “The Urgency of Intersectionality”
Analyze your privilege by reading Peggy McIntosh’s essay, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, and ask yourself the questions at the end of the essay.
Watch this 9-minute Vox documentary about black women and the history of medicine.
“If you want to be supportive and encouraging, try supporting your friend’s right to be a whole Black woman instead of a ‘strong’ one.”
Listen to Another Round’s “How To Be A Better Ally: An Open Letter To White Folks.”
Watch the progression of the transatlantic slave trade in this two-minute infographic.
Look at Underground Railroad routes that enslaved Black people traversed to escape from slavery.
#FollowFriday: Learn more about Black history and culture by following more museums on Instagram. Here are five to start with: the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Schomburg Center, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Studio Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Learn about the destruction of Black Wall Street in this 9-minute Vox documentary.
“Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so.” — Ida B. Wells
Read this corrective obituary of anti-lynching activist and journalist Ida B. Wells, published by The New York Times almost 90 years after her death.
Watch this 20-minute documentary about what racist memorabilia teaches us about the Black experience in Jim Crow America.
Watch street scenes from Harlem in 1939.
View painter, Jacob Lawrence’s series depicting the 20th-century migration of 6 million Black people out of the South.
View this gallery of mid-century portraits of Black life, shot by Black photographers.
African-American History Seen Through an African-American Lens
Rhea Combs is the curator of photography and film at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and…
#FollowFriday: Follow more historians on Twitter. Here are five scholars to get you started: Annette Gordon-Reed, Professor Manisha Sinha, Ashley D. Farmer, Jessica Marie Johnson, and Dr. Kidada E. Williams.
This weekend, watch the first episode of the documentary Eyes on the Prize: Awakenings (1954–1956.) You can stream it for free by creating a free account on FacingHistory.org or by using your library card at Kanopy.com)
Read the letter James Baldwin wrote to his nephew in 1962.
A History of American Protest Music: When Nina Simone Sang What Everyone Was Thinking
On June 12, 1963, in the early morning after president John F. Kennedy's Civil Rights address, activist Medgar Evers…
Listen to this NPR story about Americans with both Black and indigenous heritage.
Watch 100 years of black hairstyles in 3.5 minutes.
Read The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, by Audre Lorde.