Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks are all glorious figures in Black American history. However, there are so many other Black leaders, musicians, artists, activists, scientists, writers, inventors, and civil rights pioneers- past and present- who contribute to American history. Vermont Mom has compiled a day-by-day activities calendar for families to explore some lesser-known trailblazers and bits of Black history.
Our February celebration of Black History Month includes videos, poems, art projects, recipes, virtual tours, and so much more. Most activities only take a few minutes or perhaps need a quick trip to the grocery store. We have even included a few movies that can be affordably rented if you do not have the streaming service.
We hope your whole family enjoys this project as much as we have enjoyed creating it for you- and with any luck, learns something new!
Week One –
02/01 – Daisy Bates, or the First-Lady of Arkansas.
02/02 – Honoring Black leaders.
02/03 – The Blues, Black culture that shaped modern music.
02/04 – Benne Wafers, a traditional cookie with origins from Nigeria. Easy, crunchy, and a tasty sesame treat.
02/05 – Marley Dias, activist, writer, and best known for launching #1000blackgirlbooks
02/06 – A Balerina’s Tale, the inspiring story of Misty Copeland, the first and only Black principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre.
Week Two –
02/07 – Yosemite Buffalo Soldiers – America’s first park rangers.
02/08 – Growing up under Jim Crow. Samuel L. Jackson reflects on his own childhood.
02/09 – March On, a picture book by Christine King Ferris describing her brother, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an orator, and someone who knew how to inspire a crowd.
02/10 – The power of listening. Oral history selections from the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
02/11 – Black Cowboys, once 25% of the American cowboy population.
02/12 – Mashama Bailey, an American chef that celebrates her heritage through new ways of serving Southern food.
Week Three –
02/14 – Loving, a movie depicting the true story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving who married in 1958 when interracial marriage was illegal. Loving vs Virginia was the landmark case that ended the restriction on interracial marriage.
02/15 – Explore: 3D Digitization of artifacts in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
02/16 – Revealing the unknown about legendary singer, Billie Holiday.
02/17 – Fannie Lou Hamner, a pioneer for Black voters’ rights.
02/18 – Cultural Expressions, a 3D virtual tour from the National Museum of African American History and Culture
02/19 – Juneteenth, the celebration of the “true end to slavery in America”.
02/20 – Remember the Titans: A true story about the brave coach and teammates that joined the first racially integrated football team in Virginia.
Week Four & 2/28 –
02/21 – Before Rosa Parks wouldn’t give up her seat there was 15-year-old Claudette Colvin.
02/22 – Maya Penn, started her first company at the age of 8 – designer, activist, cartoonist and so much more!
02/23 – Hank Aaron – legendary baseball player, gentleman, and gracious human being.
02/24 – Peanut Stew, a recipe with roots from Senegal, Ghana, and Kenya.
02/25 – How Kids Can Make a Global Impact: Zuriel Oduwole.
02/26 – First Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman.
02/27 – Write your own Haiku. An exercise for both kids and parents!
02/28 – Learn about the Clemmons Family Farm, the first Black-owned farm in Vermont.
Vermont is one of the least racially diverse states in the United States, but even so, it holds a place in Black History. Vermont was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, and there was a small but vibrant Black community here.
- On July 2, 1777, Vermont became the first colony to abolish slavery.
- Lucy Terry, a resident of Sunderland, Vermont, wrote Bars Fight in 1746. This is the earliest-known example of African American literature.
- Alexander Twilight was the first African American person to be elected to the Vermont legislature as well as the first African American person to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree (Middlebury College, 1823.) He was an architect and built the first granite building in Vermont, the Athenian Hall, in Brownington, VT.