African American History Month


February is African American History Month

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

As a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him, believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.

By the time of Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the association—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

(Excerpt from an essay by Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University, for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History)

Executive and Legislative Documents

The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of thePublic Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to African American History Month.


  • African American History Month .GOV

Below are just a few more resources:

  • Black History Month: Everything You Need

Meet African American icons, leaders, activists, and inventors with these teaching resources.

  • Friends of Blackwater(“FOB”) is pleased to have added the J. R. Clifford Project to its range of programs that includes heritage education and environmental preservation programs.  A key element of their work is to build awareness and support for the JR Clifford lesson plans in schools around the state. Lesson plans can be downloaded from www.jrclifford.orgJ. R. Clifford (1848-1933), West Virginia’s first African American attorney, is among twelve Civil Rights Pioneers announced as honorees on a 2009 Commemorative Stamp sheet issued by the United States Postal Service.
  • Digital History – Virtual Exhibitions

  • PBS American Experience Eyes on the Prize America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954-1985

  • African American History Month .GOV


Test Day Tips for Golden Horseshoe

Attached you will find the Test Day Tips for taking the Golden Horseshoe Online Multiple Choice Test.  Note that these tips will also work with the practice tests that students have access to until February 23.  Please remember that the practice tests simulate the actual test so students will be asked to wait until the test administrator verbally gives the all clear to begin testing.


If you have any questions regarding this email, please contact me at or 304-558-5325.  Thank you and have a great day!




Veronica Barron

Secretary III-A

WVDE Office of Secondary Learning

1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East

Building 6 Room 603

Charleston, WV 25305-0330

304.558.5325 P

304.558.1834 F

Secondary Learning:

Social Studies:

Instructional Materials:

Golden Horseshoe Test Site Info

 The Golden Horseshoe Test will not be administered through Acuity this year, instead it will be on the WebTop.  Practice Test is loaded and ready on WebTop.


Please make sure all schools who administer the Golden Horseshoe test have obtained their 8th grade students WebTop login.  They are automatically generated and should be able to be accessed through the building principal or county technology specialist.  If the county technology specialist cannot access them please have them contact Chris Casto at or Robert McCoy at  Do not have classroom teachers contact Chris or Robert because they will not be able to access the needed information.  Private and home school students will still have to register as they did in the past.

If you have any questions regarding this please contact me at or 304-558-5325.  Thank you and have a great day!



Veronica Barron

Secretary III-A

WVDE Office of Secondary Learning

Black History Month Resources


How do you ensure students get the most out of black history and Black History Month? Here are some suggestions.


Incorporate black history year-round, not just in February. Use the month of February to dig deeper into history and make connections with the past.

Continue Learning. Explore how to provide an in-depth and thorough understanding of black history. Textbooks are notorious for omitting information about the struggles of communities, and what they include is limited, so use the textbook as one of many resources. While exploring multiple resources, allow for opportunities to learn along with your students.

Reinforce to students that “black” history is American history. Make black history relevant to allstudents.

Relate lessons to other parts of your curriculum, so that focusing on a leader, like Fred Shuttlesworth, expands upon rather than diverts from your curriculum. By the time February comes around, the context of the struggle for civil rights and social justice should be familiar to students if you have already addressed such issues across the curriculum.

Connect issues in the past to current issues to make history relevant to students’ lives. For example, ask students to gather information with a focus on what social disparities exist today and how a particular leader has worked to change society.

Include the political and social context of the community’s struggle for social justice. For example, talk about Daisy Bates’ political affiliations and her political ideologies. You see her bravery not as just a personal act but as coming out of community determination.

Stop your “regular” curriculum, to do a separate lesson on Rosa Parks, on the Civil Rights Act or on Martin Luther King Jr. This trivializes and marginalizes anything you are teaching, making these leaders a token of their culture and ethnicity. Students will get the message that the diversion it is not as important as the “regular” curriculum.

Decontextualize heroes or holidays, separating them from the larger social movement or historical place. Great leaders don’t make history all by themselves. For example, if you teach about James Farmer, you must also address the work of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Freedom Rides.

Focus on superficial cultural traits based on stereotypes. It’s ok to celebrate black music, but teachers should also explore the political and social contexts that give rise to musical forms like hip hop.

Talk about black history in solely “feel-good” language, or as a thing of the past. This fails to help students examine how racism manifests itself today.

Limit the presentation to lectures and reading. Be sure to allow students an opportunity for discussion and reflection.

Teach with little or inaccurate information. Review resources to make sure they don’t promote a Eurocentric perspective, which may misrepresent historic figures and social movements.

Shy away from controversial, ambiguous, or unresolved issues. Share the real-life experiences about racial realities in developmentally appropriate ways.

Adapted from material by Pat Russo of the Curriculum & Instruction Department at SUNY Oswego.