Teaching Ideas

11 Important Black History Month Resources: Texts, Tips, & More to Amplify Black Voices Yearround

11 Black History Month Resources for Secondary ELA

Amplify Black voices and diversify your curriculum with these Black History Month resources for Secondary ELA!

Black History Month Resources for Secondary ELA

Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the rich contributions of Black authors and creators in literature. For secondary ELA teachers, incorporating diverse perspectives and voices into the curriculum is essential. By exploring literature that reflects the experiences of Black individuals, students can gain a deeper understanding of history, society, and themselves. 

Below, we provide a curated list of Black History Month resources specifically designed for secondary ELA teachers during, well, all-year long! Yes, Black History Month is February, but Black history should be celebrated yearlong. 

From escape rooms to song pairings, this list offers a wide range of texts and tips for you and your students. By incorporating these texts and tips, teachers can foster empathy, critical thinking, and cultural awareness among their students. Inspire your students with stories that reflect their own experiences and empower them to engage with diverse perspectives in literature.

Amplify Black voices with any of these 6 song-inspired activities!

Sneak peak of the 6 songs:
✨ “Buffalo Soldier” by Bob Marley
✨ “Respect” by Aretha Franklin
✨  “What’s Goin’ On” by Marvin Gaye
✨  “For Women” by Talib Kweli
✨  “Dear Mama” by 2Pac
✨  “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Jimi Hendrix

Check out these 7 incredible contemporary poems by Black authors!

Sneak peak of a the poets:
✨ Amanda Gorman
✨ Danez Smith
✨ Kamilah Aisha Moon
✨ Tracy K. Smith
✨ Marcus Wicker
✨ Koleka Putuma

The Harlem Renaissance Escape Room is well-loved by teachers and students alike! You can also snag the digital only or the paper only versions.

More details:
⭐ Includes 4 activities (The Great Migration, Famous Biographies, A Prohibition Close Read, A Secret Poem)
⭐ Designed to take 40-50 minutes
⭐ Includes a complete teacher’s guide, extension activities, and an answer key
⭐ Designed for grades 7-12

Are you looking for a Harlem Renaissance research project that will HOOK your students?

In this short research project, students discover
one writer,
or musician
from the Harlem Renaissance and present this person to the class in a PowerPoint.

This informative blog post features…
✨ Singers, authors, poets, & more artists from the Harlem Renaissance
✨ Facts, goals, & the importance of the Harlem Renaissance

There’s a ton to learn from this blog post, so be sure to give it a read!

Over at The Secondary English Coffee Shop, Danielle wrote about 5 short texts to include for Black History Month and beyond!

Sneak peak of this post:
✨ Oral histories
✨  A protest song
✨ An article
✨ A poem
✨ Beyoncé…need I say more?

Looking for ways to diversify your curriculum but don’t know where to start?

The “Rethinking the Classics” series has done the HOURS and HOURS of research for you! You can find inclusive text pairings for…
⭐ Shakespeare
⭐ The Great Gatsby
⭐ To Kill a Mockingbird
⭐ A short stories unit
& so much more!

Teaching with a social justice framework can feel scary at times, but it is necessary work, ESPECIALLY for white educators who hold more power and privilege. 

This blog post affirms and advises white and non-Black educators through 5+ powerful and accomplishable tips to teaching social justice in ELA.

If you are teaching The Harlem Renaissance, you want to do so with intention.

This blog post outlines some great advise on how/why to do so! 

Closing Remarks

Here’s a bonus gem! Rikki Carter guest wrote a blog post over on The Secondary English Coffee Shop where she shares her experiences with Black History Month in schools as a Black woman in America. She shares a wealth of resources and knowledge. 

I hope you have found this round-up of Black History Month resources for secondary ELA useful!

Please let us know if you checked out any of the resources and/or blog posts…and remember to celebrate Black History all year in your classrooms.

Happy teaching, friends!