The Best Websites To Teach & Learn About African-American History by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Websites To Teach & Learn About African-American History


'Black History: NRC Celebrates National African American History Month' photo (c) 2013, Nuclear Regulatory Commission - license:

February is Black History Month in the United States. I thought a “The Best…” list focusing on African-American history would be timely and helpful — especially with Martin Luther King Day and the Inauguration of Barack Obama both coming-up.

All the sites on this list and many more can be found on my website under African-Americans.

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As usual, I’ve only included sites that I feel are accessible to English Language Learners.

Here are my picks for The Best Websites To Teach & Learn About African-American History (not in any order of preference):

The History Channel’s Black History site has many videos, quizzes, images, and information.

The Encyclopedia Britannica’s Guide To Black History has a ton of resources.

Scholastic’s Black History In America is also very accessible.

The Biography Channel Black History site has a number of online videos and other features, and a nice Photo Gallery.

* An excellent interactive timeline from the BBC is called “Free At Last.”

Black Voices has large number of very engaging and visual resources.

* PBS has quite a few online video clips from the renowned documentary “Eyes On The Prize.”

Channel One has many excellent resources on Black History.

* Kulture Kidz has simple and accessible materials on Black History.

* TIME Magazine has a slideshow called From Emmett Till To Barack Obama.

* MSNBC has several high-quality interactives on its Black History Month page.

Enchanted Learning has quite a few very simple resources on African-American History Month accessible to Early Intermediate ELL’s.

* Black History In America is a resource from Scholastic.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a series of articles written in simple English about accomplished African-Americans in history.

* The Guardian, a UK newspaper, has a well-done interactive timeline on Black History that offers an international flavor.

* The San Francisco Chronicle just published this Interactive Timeline Of African-American History. It covers the last two hundred years.

* InfoPlease has a simple African-American History timeline, too.

* The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has another one with a nifty interface.

* I’ve posted several times in the past about how much I like Brainpop for my English Language Learner students, and that it’s one of the very, very few web applications out there that I think is worth paying for. Brainpop has a Black History Month collection that’s pretty impressive. Again, you have to subscribe in order to view them, but you can sign-up for a free trial offer. Plus, two of the movies in this particular collection are free for viewing without signing-up.

* EL Civics, which is on many of my “The Best…” lists, also has a series of resources on Black History Month.

* Journalist Cynthia Tucker has written an article saying Black History Month should be eliminated.  It isn’t accessible to English Language Learners, but a teacher could frame the question, and its background, in a comprehensible and engaging way.

Teachnology has a number of accessible worksheets related to African American history that can be printed-out.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching Black History is a good guide from Teaching Tolerance.

* The New York Times has an extensive collection of lesson plans titled Celebrate Black History Month.

* The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has a feature on African American History Month where they “provide an economic snapshot of African Americans in the United States today.”
It’s quite accessible, and even provides audio support for the text.

*Here are some resources from Newsweek Magazine that I’m adding to this list:

A slideshow titled Memorable people and moments in black history.

A slideshow titled Memorable Quotes From Iconic African-Americans.

An article titled The End of Black History Month? Why I’m not ready to ditch it—yet.

The NAACP and Verizon have unveiled a pretty impressive multimedia and interactive timelineof the past 100 years of African American History.

A Brief History of The Selma To Montgomery March
 is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

The Slavery Museum is a pretty impressive multimedia site that appears to be designed by students.

“Finishing The Dream” is a new collection of 100 videos from NBC News related to the Civil Rights Movement.

Here’s the announcement:

NBC Learn and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation have partnered to draw awareness to the Civil Rights movement and jump start new dialogue among students and teachers by releasing more than 100 stories from the NBC News archives and making the content available to schools, colleges, and universities nationwide. “Finishing the Dream” chronicles the struggles and celebrates the triumphs of the Civil Rights movement over the span of 60 years.

The collection includes the most significant moments of the movement including the Montgomery bus boycott, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, the Freedom Riders, and original documentaries featuring ordinary people, like Rosa Parks who risked their lives to fight for equality.

The History Makers Digital Archive is a collection of video interviews with 400 African Americans, including Barack Obama and other well-known figures. That’s nice, but how their presented is what makes this site extraordinarily impressive. Here’s how they describe it:

As a registered user of the new web-based archive, you will be able to:

* Search the spoken text of over 900 hours of video divided into
18,254 story segments.
* Filter searches by geography, time period, and the gender,
occupation and birth year of the interviewee.
* View your search results as 3-5 minute video story segments,
each aligned with a running transcript below a Flash video player
(compatible with most browsers).
* Save video story segments of interest and return to them through
web site bookmarking.
* Search dozens of historical topics, biographical themes and
interview qualities, newly coded to interview segments through thousands
of hours of human indexing.

It’s pretty neat.

Black History Milestones is a very good interactive timeline from The History Channel.

PBS showed a film on the Freedom Riders, civil rights activists who challenged segregation in the South. The website for the film has an interactive timeline and several video excerpts.

Slideshow: The 25 Most Influential Black American Leaders of All Time

Teaching Resources for Black History Month on Scholastic

Does Black History Need More Than a Month? is from Miller-McCune.

Teaching The Civil Rights Movement is from The New York Times Learning Network.

The Politics of Children’s Literature: What’s Wrong with the Rosa P... is from The Zinn Education Project.

Timeline: Civil War To Civil Rights is from National Geographic.

America’s ‘Slave Narratives’ should shock us is from CNN.

Black History Is American History is a cool interactive site.

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