January 20, 2017

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Black History Month Resources

Every February, America and Virginia observe Black History Month, celebrating and honoring the many achievements and contributions made by African Americans to the economic, cultural, and political development of America.  African Americans are prominent in Virginia and American history.  The famous historian, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a native Virginian and the son of former slaves, brought this fact to the world’s attention by founding the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, publishing several scholarly works and establishing Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month.  The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to provide teachers and school divisions with Black History Month resources.  These resources support the 2015 History and Social Science Standards of Learning.

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 at
http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website and https://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/black-history.htmlThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Learn more about the National Museum of African American History and Culture at https://nmaahc.si.edu/This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.

African American history sites from the Library of Virginia focus on topics in Virginia history and are available at http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/vhr/afam.htmThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.

Virginia’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, http://mlkcommission.dls.virginia.gov/This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website, includes the following resources:  

For more information, please contact Betsy Barton, Specialist for History and Social Science, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, by email at Betsy.Barton@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-3454.

SRS/BSB/vdg