This post is part of our blog series, “Countdown to Black History Month 2013.” Each blog post will cover one significant event or person in black history that we are highlighting as a lead in to Black History Month 2013: At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality. This year is a particularly significant Black History Month as it is both the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation as well as the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
January is a great month to begin planning for the events and activities that your organization is going to hold for Black History Month. There are a wide variety of events and activities that your organization can host as a celebration of and way to focus on Black History Month. Culture Coach International has worked with clients to developed meaningful Black History activities that engage and educate people in a variety of ways. Below is a list of Black History Month activities and events, some created by CCI and some not, all are a great way to bring attention to this important month:
- Speakers: Organize speaker(s) to come to your organization and give topical addresses at the start and close of the month. These people can be: professors from local colleges, experts from local libraries or museums as well as well-known professional speakers.
- Videos: Host weekly viewings of significant films related to Black History such as PBS’ Eyes on the Prize series.
- African American Timelines – Abridged Version: Post the African American Timeline in common spaces and send out emails informing people as to the purpose of the Timeline and highlighting some of the content on the Timeline. This is a great activity that people can participate in at their leisure.
- African American Timeline – Full Version: Host a facilitated African American Timeline discussion(s) with the people at your organization. This is a great event because it aims to provide an in-depth experience that every person can feel comfortable participating in.
- Famous African American Quotes: Send out weekly or twice weekly quotes via email or posted on internal company intranet. We suggest using quotes that are in alignment with the Black History Month 2013 theme – At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality.
- African American Scavenger Hunt: Use this activity for a networking event and also to teach participants about 30 African Americans who have made an impact upon our culture and history.
CCI Authored Black History Month Activities Expanded:
African American History Timeline – Abridged Version
The abridged version of timeline measures just 4.5 feet long and brings together key facts from both the timeline and the cards that are used in the larger timeline. This smaller timeline is great for posting as an educational tool that employees can read by themselves and it is also a great tool for smaller groups discussions. The smaller timeline comes with sample discussion questions and a brief facilitator’s guide. This version of the timeline is available in both vinyl and paper. The paper version is divided into three, paper panels, so it can be easily displayed vertically or horizontally for small office spaces. The vinyl version of this timeline is a horizontal, continuous 4.5 long timeline.
This timeline is great for posting as an educational tool that employees can read by themselves and it is also a great tool for smaller groups discussions.
African American History Timeline – Full Version
The African-American History timeline is 12 feet long and contains significant historical facts related to African-American history. Participants interact with the timeline by placing additional facts/events (printed on laminated playing cards) on it for the year they believe the event took place. The trainer then facilitates a discussion by reviewing all of the cards placed on the timeline. If a card is not at the correct year, it can be easily moved to the right year. For each card, the trainer encourages discussion and questions by providing additional information. Depending on the level of knowledge of a particular group, discussions can be either introductory or very in-depth.
Famous African American Quotes
This activity is an designed to offer a small, daily reminder of Black History Month 2013 to employees. This electronic list is a selection of 28 quotes, one for each day of Black History Month, from famous African American men and women. The quotes center around this year’s Black History Month Theme: At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality. The quotes are given in an electronic format to be sent in daily email reminders to employees of the month’s theme through an inspiring quote.
Keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts that are a part of the “Countdown to Black History Month 2013” series. Black History Month provides a significant opportunity for organizations to have conversations around the history and contributions of African Americans. Please visit our Black History Month Page for more information about Black History Month as well as ways to engage your employees or volunteers.