Celebrating Black History Month with SF public schools
Originally published in the San Francisco Examiner
2020 is a leap year, which means San Francisco public schools will be celebrating Black History for 366 days this year. And this month the entire country will join us to elevate the diverse histories, experiences, stories and voices of African-Americans and their critical importance in the past, present, and future of our society.
The month of February was officially recognized as Black History Month in 1976, but its origins go back 50 years prior when Carter G. Woodson had a vision for promoting African American history.
In collaboration with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Woodson launched “Negro History Week” in 1926 to elevate the narratives of African Americans into mainstream awareness and to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans.
Throughout the month of February, San Francisco public schools will host a multitude of lessons, events, performances and more to celebrate black excellence. I’ll be joining an African American Read-In at Carver Elementary and I encourage all of our students, teachers, faculty, and staff to participate fully in celebrations across the City.
To get the ideas flowing, check out the SFUSD Black History Month Resource Guide we created for our educators. This guide is a compilation of resources from blogs, news outlets, reference guides, and community organizations that teachers can incorporate into units and lessons throughout the year. You’re welcome to reference it for ideas to bring Black History Month alive in your family’s discussions and activities this month.
It is important that these conversations continue outside of the classroom, and there are many ways that you can celebrate Black History Month at home too.
The San Francisco Public Library’s African American Center has put out a recommended reading list of books for grades preK-12 and is also hosting an exhibit titled “Through the Lens of Black Photographers” at the Central Library from January 18 - April 16, 2020.
Plan a family field trip to the DeYoung museum, which is hosting “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983” until March 15 or visit the Museum of the African Diaspora, the African American Arts & Culture Complex, Buffalo Soldiers, or the San Francisco African American Freedom Trail.
In closing, I want to extend a special invitation to any parents of African American students in SFUSD. If you want to become more involved in the districtwide African American Parent Advisory Council or to network with other families in SFUSD, visit sfusd.edu/AAPAC, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (415) 241-6121.
Happy Black History Month!