In the midst of Black History Month, focusing on the national, social, scientific, and political contributions of African Americans such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman opens the door for diverse learning experiences. In honor of this month, take a field trip to a landmark of the civil rights movement, watch a biography on DVD, or listen to a Presidential speech. Nest Learning offers a wide array of products to bring these subjects to life. And while you’re sparking your children’s imaginations, here are some interesting trivia facts to share with them:
• Allensworth, California was built in 1908 as an all-black city, self-sufficient and free from racism. It is the only town in California to have been founded, financed, and governed solely by African Americans. In 1974, California State Parks purchased land within the historical township and created Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.
• African American entrepreneur Wally Amos, known for his “Famous Amos” cookies, had previously been a talent agent at the William Morris agency, working with such notable acts as Simon and Garfunkel and the Supremes.
• Trumpeter Louis Armstrong earned money and bought his first coronet when he was only seven years old and taught himself to play while living in a home for juvenile delinquents.
• Performer Josephine Baker smuggled military intelligence to our French allies during World War II by pinning secrets inside her dress or writing them on her sheet music in invisible ink.
• The design of our nation’s capital, Washington DC, is credited in part to black scientist and mathematician Benjamin Banneker.
• After a long and fruitful career, actress and singer Pearl Bailey earned her bachelor’s degree in theology from Georgetown University in 1985 – at the age of 67.
• In addition to her career in politics as US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice is an accomplished pianist and has played with such greats as Yo Yo Ma and Aretha Franklin. She has even performed for Queen Elizabeth.
• Baseball hall-of-famer Jackie Robinson helped to establish the African-American owned and controlled Freedom Bank.
There’s a wealth of information on people from a wide array of career paths and interests to evoke your child’s interest in Black History. It’s not too late – honor Black History Month in your lesson plan today.