We all know that Black History is American History and that it should be appreciated, celebrated, and talked about all year long. But, as I wrote in this article for Mom.com, Black History Month dates back to 1915. Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland wanted to recognize African-Americans and their achievements. The month of February was chosen because Frederick Douglass’ birthday is this month.
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Here on The Simple Homeschool Lifestyle, I want to kick off Black History Month, which will ultimately become Black History Year, by highlighting one notable person each day for thirty days. Yes, I recognize there are only 28 days in the month, but we’re starting a bit early to make up for it.
Each day, we’ll have a new notable person in Black History with a video or small blurb and corresponding chapter book or picture book. Be sure to check back daily throughout the month to learn more about each person. In the meantime, download the Notable People in Black History Trivia/Memory Cards to include it as part of your Black History unit.
Black History Month Day One: Arthur Ashe
Arthur Ashe won three Gland Slam Titles and broke racial barriers. He won the US Open and Wimbledon. Ashe was also the first Black male to be selected for the United States Davis Cup Team.
Arthur Ashe was born in Richmond, Virginia who grew up loving the game of tennis. Unfortunately, in the 1940s, he was unable to play on most tennis courts because he was black. Arthur however, went on to become one of the top-ranked players in the world.
Learn more about Ashe in the picture biography book, Game, Set Match: Champion Arthur Ashe.
Black History Month Day Two: Barbara Jordan
Barbara Jordan was born in Texas in 1936 during the time of Jim Crow laws. She was the first African-American woman elected to the Texas Senate. Jordan was also the first Southern African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives.
Learn more about Jordan in the book, What Do You Do WIth a Voice Like That: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.
Black History Month Day Three: Benjamin O. Davis Jr.
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. was the first African American general in the United States Air Force. He led the 332nd Fighter Group, also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, in 1943.
Learn more about The Tuskegee Airmen in, The Tuskeegee Airmen Story.
Black History Month Day Four: Bessie Coleman
Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman and the first Native American to hold a pilot’s license. She participated in countless dangerous United States airshows and broke racial barriers.
Learn more about Bessie Coleman in, Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman.
Grab a free Bessie Coleman Unit Study from The Waldock Way.