Black History Resources

also see (Black History for Kids)


Reader's Theater

Teach your students about black history through Reader's Theater.
Here are a few scripts you might consider.
You may ask...How do I use reader's theater in the classroom? Check out these tips!

Freedom Fighters (Classroom Plays for Elementary Students)

Now Let Me Fly

Education World Lesson Plan on how to use the script.
The Supreme Court's 1958 decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka stands as a landmark decision in the history of the United States. But the decision made in Brown v. Board was not one that came out of the blue. It was the culmination of decades of oppression; countless incidents of people who recognized and courageously stood up to the fact that "separate but equal" statutes were not working; and many years of unsuccessful court challenges. The Brown v. Board decision is brought to life beautifully and powerfully in Marcia Cebulska's play //Now Let Me Fly//.

Madame C.J. Walker

Sarah Breedlove was born the daughter of a poor black sharecropper shortly after the end of the American Civil War. When her parents die in her childhood, she and her sister set out to make their fortune. When Sarah has a dream one night about helping black women with a new line of African American women's hair care products, she puts her dream into action. In time, with perseverance and application she becomes a millionaire, changes her name to Madame C. J Walker, and begins to give back to and to strengthen her community, establishing herself as one of the famous black history Americans and most well known women inventors we admire and emulate today.

Escaping the Underground Railroad

An act-it-out drama narrated by two voices. (Instructions and script attached.) This is useful for clearing up confusion about what the Underground Railroad was and how it functioned. This is part of a 5 day lesson resource provided by The Fairfax County Public Schools.

Positive African American Plays For Children

These books will show you how to produce successful plays that closely identify with the children’s surrounding and environment. The author began writing plays while working with a small group of African American children during her work in a community outreach program. Realizing the children were not responding well to old traditional children plays, she decided to write plays with 100% input from the children. What has resulted is a wonderful collection of plays by African American children but suitable for children of all cultures.

Tips for a Successful Black History Month Play Production


LibriVox recording of The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Du Bois read and performed by toriasuncle.
The Souls of Black Folk is a well-known work of African-American literature by activist W.E.B. Du Bois. The book, published in 1903, contains several essays on race, some of which had been previously published in Atlantic Monthly magazine. Du Bois drew from his own experiences to develop this groundbreaking work on being African-American in American society. Outside of its notable place in African-American history, The Souls of Black Folk also holds an important place in social science as one of the first works to deal with sociology. (Summary from

Visit the Internet Archive to hear the rest of the story.

LibriVox recording of Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin(1841-1925).
Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin is a collection of short stories that give a snapshot into the life of a legendary hero or an event in history. Hear how Alexander the Great tamed Bucephalus, the kindness of Doctor Goldsmith, William Tell, George Washington and his hatchet, King Alfred as well as many other interesting tales. (Summary by Laura Caldwell)

Librivox recording Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
Up From Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his slow and steady rise from a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton University, to his work establishing vocational schools—most notably the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama—to help black people and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves, as a race, up by the bootstraps. He reflects on the generosity of both teachers and philanthropists who helped in educating blacks and native Americans. He describes his efforts to instill manners, breeding, health and a feeling of dignity to students. (Summary from Wikipedia)

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Underground Railroad

National Geographic: The Underground Railroad - A very informative site that goes into detail what it was like to escape from slavery and seek freedom.
The Path to Freedom - This article from Scholastic's Instructor Magazine uses meaningful activities to help students begin to understand life on the Underground Railroad.

Lesson Plans and Teaching Resources

BrainPop Spotlight: Black History Month
African Americans- Teaching Resources from the Department of Education's Federal Resources for Educational Excellence
Black History Month Resources from the Gale Group